The following is an excellent editorial written by The Cap Times staff on April 5, 2017 titled “Editorial; Mark Pocan’s Right: Donald Trump Trade Orders are Talk, Not Action” and I quote:
When Donald Trump was campaigning for president last year, he promised a new approach to trade policy. It was a central theme of his campaign. He was against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He was against the North American Free Trade Agreement. He was against trade relations as they have developed between the United States and China.
His objections never amounted to much more than sloganeering. But, after years of being fed free-trade fantasies by politicians of both major parties, a lot of voters were attracted by the fact that the “billionaire populist” at least acknowledged that something was wrong.
Unfortunately, there is a problem when “billionaire populists” are elected.
Once they get power, their billionaire status tends to trump their populism.
That is certainly what looks to be happening with Trump.
Last week the president signed two trade-related executive orders — one that set up a study on trade deficits and one that set up a review of current enforcement mechanisms for trade deals.
Trump did it all with a lot of pomp and circumstance, and his usual array of big talk and “yuge” promises.
But Congressman Mark Pocan, D-town of Vermont, pointed out that when it comes to meaningful action on trade policy — as on so many other issues that he promises to resolve on behalf of American workers — this emperor has no clothes.
“During his campaign, Donald Trump talked about the disastrous impact of our trade agreements on American workers and promised immediate action to level the playing field,” Pocan announced after Trump’s signing ceremony last Friday. “Today’s toothless executive orders are yet another example of President Trump being mostly talk and little action.”
Pocan, the Wisconsin Democrat who has emerged as one of the most serious advocates for trade policies that respect workers, the environment and human rights, saw through Trump’s smoke and mirrors.
“Despite his rhetoric calling NAFTA the ‘worst trade deal ever’ and labeling our China trade policy a disaster, he hasn’t taken any meaningful action to address these problems,” explained the vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “He broke his promise to declare China a currency manipulator on day one and has yet to address our trade deficit with China. He’s already reneged on his ‘Buy American’ promise to use American steel for major construction projects and has so far failed to start the process of renegotiating NAFTA.”
Pocan, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, as well as the Subcommittee on Agriculture, has since his election to the House in 2012 been at the center of every major trade debate. He stood up to President Barack Obama when he knew the Democrat was heading in the wrong direction when it came to trade agreements, especially the TPP, and now he is standing up to Trump because he knows the Republican president is letting workers down.
“President Trump likes to talk about bringing jobs back to the United States, but so far he has done nothing to help workers here at home,” said Pocan. “Unfortunately, this is just another broken promise to the American people who need real action.”
What would real action look like?
As the 115th Congress was getting started, Pocan and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., outlined an agenda to address the outsourcing of American jobs.
“Too many working class families in our districts have been left behind because of the outsourcing of American jobs,” explained Pocan and Dingell, in a letter signed by 23 House Democrats, including Wisconsin’s Gwen Moore. The letter calls on Congress to take immediate action to jump-start the economic prosperity of the many communities hurt by outsourcing.
To begin to make real the promises made by Republicans and Democrats during the 2016 campaign, the letter asked House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, and other congressional leaders to prioritize the passage of legislation consistent with the following principles:
1. We should close loopholes in our tax code which reward companies that ship jobs overseas and punish companies that stay in the United States and invest in American workers.
2. Federal contracting and procurement policies should give preference to American labor and domestic-made goods so our taxpayer dollars benefit working class families in the United States.
3. We should increase investments in education and prepare workers for careers in advanced manufacturing and other industries that will be pivotal in the 21st century economy.
4. Trade adjustment assistance and retraining programs should be improved and expanded to give workers the opportunity to get back on their feet when confronting job displacement.
5. We should expand access to quality broadband services and increase telecommunications connectivity so all communities have the digital resources that are necessary to compete in our digital economy.
6. The promise of a secure retirement must be upheld by preserving benefits that workers have paid into and earned, including Social Security, Medicare, and workplace pension guarantees.
Pocan’s right. Trump’s executive orders are just more talk. Working families in communities like Janesville, which Ryan is supposed to represent and which Trump promised to help, need action.”
(MY REPRESENTATIVE, MARK POCAN, HAD SOME GREAT COMMENTS AND THE TWO OUT OF THE SIX I ENJOY THE MOST WERE NUMBER 1–CLOSING TAX LOOPHOLES IN THE TAX CODE THAT REWARD COMPANIES FOR SHIPPING JOBS OVERSEAS. AND NUMBER 6–“THE PROMISE OF A SECURE RETIREMENT MUST BE UPHELD BY PRESERVING BENEFITS THAT WORKERS HAVE PAID INTO AND EARNED, INCLUDING SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, AND WORKPLACE PENSION GUARANTEES.” IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE OUR COUNTRY GREAT AGAIN, THESE WOULD BE MY TWO FAVORITE IDEAS THAT I BELIEVE MUST BE DONE. SOMETHING DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS SHOULD AGREE ON.
LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran