Making Trade Fair
We must work to end the tariffs on American soybeans. Arkansas farmers and their families are the biggest losers in this trade war. These tariffs have caused soybean prices to plummet, which hurts the real incomes of Arkansans.
Our opponent was caught bragging about the tariffs. He chose to double down on his support for these disastrous tariffs, which have caused soybean prices to plummet. Arkansan farmers have warned that these tariffs would make it very hard for them to make a profit this year.
It's already hard to be a farmer. The margins are already thin. Under these soybean tariffs, if you farm 2,500 acres of soybeans and make an average crop, the tariffs will cost you $100,000 just this year alone. And the harm will not be limited to the short-term: there is a serious danger that China will eventually develop new sources of soybeans to replace the supply from Arkansas by buying up and developing land in South America. These tariffs risk irreversible injury to Arkansas farmers.
Make no mistake about it: we are in a trade war with China. Arkansas farmers and their families should not have to suffer as collateral damage in our efforts to make trade fair. They deserve to be heard in Washington, rather than treated as an expendable bargaining chip. There are other solutions.
Globalization has caused many problems for working families, especially those in the manufacturing sector. Our past trade policies have exacerbated these problems by making it easier for corporations to offshore jobs and drive down wages.
These policies have made things worse for working families by favoring multinational corporations over the welfare of our citizens. We must eliminate the special corporate privileges, such as the investor state dispute settlement system and other investor protections, which allow corporations to outsource jobs.
We must forge new trade rules that would establish strong, enforceable standards to prevent currency manipulation and that would reign in state-owned enterprises so that U.S. industries can compete in a fair playing field. But we shouldn't do this alone: other countries also suffer when China manipulates its currencies or unfairly subsidizes its industries. Instead, we must leverage our position as a global leader so that these negotiations can occur in a multilateral context, with the cooperation and support of the rest of countries that make up the global economy. China's bargaining position will be much weaker if we are able to isolate China as an unfair player in the global economy.
Our past trade policies too often prioritize physical capital over human capital. There must be a strong labor component to any trade deal: other countries must adopt improved labor practices and environmental protections that meet international standards so that we can end the race to the bottom. We should also consider implementing a human capital investment tax credit for workers who are disproportionately harmed. Human capital accumulation is a key driver to economic growth, so it makes sense to invest in training and skills development for our workers.
Finally, we must ensure that any negotiations, whether for NAFTA or other trade deals, are transparent, so that the American people have a meaningful say and can hold our elected officials accountable.