- - Wednesday, October 17, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Quietly, President Donald J. Trump is putting together one of the greatest performances on the economy and trade in modern presidential history. This is indeed happening quietly because both the actions and results of Mr. Trump’s economic policies are grossly under-reported in the press.

Exhibit A is the president’s impressive, but virtually ignored, “hat trick” at the United Nations (U.N.) last week. At the U.N., President Trump fulfilled an important campaign promise when he sat with President Moon Jae-in and signed a landmark modernization of the trade deficit-inflating 2012 South Korea deal known as “KORUS.” This new Korea deal means more auto, agricultural, and pharmaceutical exports for American producers even as it extends critical protections for our light truck industry out to 2041.

At the U.N., President Trump and his United States Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer also announced the president’s intention to ask Congress for “fast track” authority to negotiate a new trade deal with Japan. Such a deal would help pry open Japan’s notoriously closed agricultural and auto markets. It was a development hailed from Capitol Hill and Detroit to the wheat fields of Montana — but the news got largely buried.

The third part of last week’s hat trick was an extraordinary joint statement from Japan, the European Union and the United States. It roundly condemned non market-oriented economies’ use of forced technology transfer policies and unfair trade practices while promising strong actions and disciplines to combat these problems.

Of course, last week started off with a bit more of a bang as President Trump announced the death of the pernicious NAFTA trade deal and the birth of “USMCA” — the United StatesMexicoCanada Agreement. Sure, the USMCA got a little more press but nothing to match its $1.2 trillion status as the largest trade deal in United States history — one destined to turn North America into a manufacturing powerhouse and restore the United States as a leading automaker.

While much of the mainstream media continues to underreport the president’s achievements, stock market investors continue to vote with their dollars. With earnings high, growth robust, wages up, and unemployment at historic lows, the bulls of Wall Street don’t need a weatherman or news anchor to know which way the Trump growth winds are blowing.

The growth we are witnessing — over 4 percent in the latest quarter — is no accident. Under the banner of “economic security is national security,” President Trump is fulfilling every single growth-inducing promise that Candidate Trump made during the campaign.

Corporate tax cuts are stimulating investment, productivity and wage growth, and innovation. A wave of deregulation is lowering the costs of United States producers and increasing their global competitiveness. With an end to the war on coal and with the unleashing of the United States petroleum industry, the United States is now the world’s largest oil producer and one of its largest petroleum exporters.

Meanwhile, President Trump’s two simple rules, “Buy American, Hire American,” are significantly strengthening our manufacturing and defense industrial base. Defensive tariffs levied on a flood of underpriced steel and aluminum have led to an investment boom in these two key pillar industries — to the benefit of many communities hit hardest by the forces of globalization.

The bottom line: President Trump is demonstrating both to predecessors and future presidents all the good that can come when the person in the Oval Office thinks 24/7 about how to grow this economy and raise the wages of the men and women of America, particularly those who work with their hands. From Main Street to Wall Street, the results are unprecedented. Too bad, the media is missing a great presidency.

• Peter Navarro is an assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy and the director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy.


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