- - Monday, June 22, 2015


All this talk about “free trade” might make an uninformed person believe that opening up trade with foreign companies will result in free trade for American businesses and workers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

How can there be free trade for American businesses when these businesses are in the chains of federal, state and local regulations? There are 50 titles of the Code of Federal Regulations alone. I have heard it said that every business in America is guilty of violating at least one of those regulations at any given time. Compliance with each of these costs businesses considerable capital, and many large companies must have an army of compliance officers and lawyers.

Then there are President Obama’s new Environmental Protection Agency regulations designed to cripple the coal industry. These regulations will also increase the cost of electricity, which will further increase the cost to produce goods in America.

America has the best and most efficient equipment in the world, but our production costs are higher than those of other countries because of these mountains of regulations. Until the regulatory burden on American business is reduced to allow American business to compete, even the best trade deal for America would harm the American worker and American businesses, especially small business. Republicans need to focus first on removing the regulatory chains on businesses and rewrite the Code of Federal Regulations into a pamphlet, something similar in size to Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense.” Then we can talk trade.


Newport News, Va.

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