WASHINGTON – Chautauqua County’s representative in Washington said he’s not concerned that President-Elect Donald Trump’s call to rework trade deals might backfire on U.S. manufacturers.
During his final conference call of the year with regional reporters, Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23) provided a recap of 2016 while also offering thoughts on what to expect in 2017.
He said he’s looking forward to the country reworking certain trade deals that are outdated or which were not well-negotiated from the start. He said by reworking those deals, it will provide better opportunities for U.S. Businesses in overseas markets.
The Corning Republican – who is also a member of Trump’s transition team – also downplayed concerns that Trump’s interest in renegotiating foreign trade deals might ultimately make it tougher for American products to reach a global consumer base.
“I think the president-elect has really touched on something that needs to be done, and that is to update our trade agreements to make sure that they are negotiated in the future to put the American workers first and foremost as the negotiating principals,” Reed said. “And as we go forward I think you’re going to see trade opportunities where the president-elect as well as myself recognize with 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of American borders, we need access those markets, but we need to make sure when we access those markets we do it on an even and level playing field.”
In November, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development issued a report that warned that anti-free trade policies “would likely raise prices, harm living standards and leave countries in a worsened fiscal position. Trade protectionism may shelter some jobs, but it will worsen prospects and lower well-being for many others.”
Trump has been critical of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed by former President Bill Clinton. He was also critical of the Trans Pacific Partnership, supported by President Barack Obama but not yet enacted. Trump has vowed to abandon the latter deal once he takes office.