Talking About the True Meaning and Significance of Trade Agreements on The Rich Roffman Show

On my next appearance on The Rich Roffman Show I will be talking about the true meaning and significance of trade agreements: poverty, corruption, environmental concerns and labor laws (child labor laws as one example) and a better way of life for all involved. The question is:  “Why doesn’t this message get across to the average guy??” This could be a good discussion with “real time” answers and examples. Please feel free to ask your questions or share your comments below.  Read More

Looking Back While Looking Ahead as a Successful Exporter

Receiving the SBA’s Champion Exporter of the Year for 2008, it seemed like a good time to relate how I entered into the arena of international business. I write this for our young people considering a career as an American exporter. One of the most important decisions I made in my fledgling career was to move into Manhattan immediately after graduating from Rowan State University in New Jersey in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  I got a cheap studio apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, and landed a job sorting mail for an export management company located on 5th Avenue and felt I was in heaven. As a child, I remember being mesmerized by the world map. I would stare at it for long periods of time trying to memorize the geography. I envisioned what it would be like to sit in these far away... Read More

Stuck in a 40-year Time Warp…Stop Looking to Milton Friedman

The next time you shop at Wal-Mart, here is something to ponder. Nobel Memorial Prize winner Milton Friedman published Capitalism and Freedom in 1962, written against the backdrop of unrivaled American industrial dominance as Western Europe and Japan rebuilt under the benevolence of the Marshall Plan. During this period, the American policy of absorbing the world’s exports while turning our back on our own industries was perfected under Friedman’s guidance. Friedman points out that “inconvertibility of currencies” is of authoritarian origin, “most probably invented by the Nazi regime.” The core financial policy practiced with religious zeal by Communist China today was invented by the Nazis. Yet freedom-loving, free-trade-proselytizing Americans continue... Read More

Ask Your Top U.S. Trade Policy Questions Here – I’ll Answer Them During My Weekly Radio Show Interview

Here’s where you can ask the gnawing questions you have regarding trade. Here’s where I tackle U.S. trade policy issues. Feel free to post a question of your own.  I will choose a question each week from this blog to further answer during my weekly radio show with Rich Roffman on his radio show on Fridays at 4:30 P.M. on WKAT-AM 1360. Finally, I also welcome you to subscribe to my blog so that you can be kept current on my regular comments on trade.  Read More

Why Aren’t the Voice of Support for American Exporters Being Heard

If the middle class has yet to embrace and fight for our nation’s badly needed trade agreements that will provide scores of new jobs while giving up very little in return, part of the blame must go to trade supporters who have been unable to articulate their vision in a passionate and reassuring way. Most often the spokespeople debating for the free-trade agenda are seen as aloof and out of touch. They come from the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, Wall Street, and elitist Washington think tanks. Although their intensions are good, they have been easy targets to discredit by the media because of their ties to corporate motives. Small and medium-sized companies are the backbone of the American economy and have not been given a voice. They are responsible for over 70 percent of American... Read More

Failure to Ratify U.S. – Colombian-Free Trade Agreement

The latest battleground of America’s trade future is Colombia. At a time when we should be investing every ounce of our energy to tear down the barriers to American exports in China, Japan and India instead we are side tracked on the U.S.-Colombian Free Trade Agreement that should have quickly passed Congress with broad bipartisan support.  Any reasonable person in less than three minutes should understand why this is good for America. (Read what the White House says about Colombia Free Trade) Colombia has enjoyed preferential-trade access to the U.S. market for the past seventeen years as part of the Andean Trade Preferences Act, or ATPA. ATPA was created to provide farmers and workers alternatives to being swallowed up in the omnipresent narco-industry throughout the Andean region. ... Read More

It’s Time To Create the Department of Global Trade

Our command structure is a convoluted mess due to the split authority between the USTR (United States Trade Representative) and Department of Commerce. This split provides the USTR responsibility or “policy”, “coordination” and “negotiations” while providing the Secretary of Commerce “nonagricultural operational trade responsibility”. We must replace the USTR-Department of Commerce two-headed monster with a single Department of Global Trade. The Secretary of Commerce would become the Secretary of Global Trade, possessing real power over a portfolio that offers opportunities for important policy leadership. Unlike today, the Secretary of Commerce would have complete authority over all facets of trade including strategy, negotiations and enforcement.  Read More

To the Point News

View my latest article published by To The Point News in Washington. I hope you enjoy!!  Read More

If You Support Free Trade, It’s Time for Action!

Before George W. Bush came to office we had Free Trade Agreements with four countries. Today we have FTA’s with fourteen. However this pales against the European Union that has concluded twenty-eight FTA’s and China that has already in place twenty-one. We have much ground to make up. We must insist upon FTA’s with China and Japan that are responsible for over 60% of our merchandise trade deficit. Visit members of Congress in their district offices and on Capitol Hill. Walk right into the Rayburn House Office Building where many members of the House of Representatives hold office and start knocking on doors. Tell them how important it is to pass the Colombia, Panama and South Korea Free Trade Agreements now before them. I have heard every time I met with a member of Congress... Read More

World War II Ended in 1945—So Why Do We Have a Marshall Plan Mentality When it Comes to World Trade?

A Marshall Plan export economic mindset that stretches back a half century has set us on course towards $1 trillion trade deficits stretching as far as one can see. It is important to understand how we got into this mess. Only after World War Two did the United States begin to advocate a liberal trade policy. To promote post-war recovery in Western Europe and Asia the U.S. opened its market wide to war-time enemies without requiring equal access for American exports. The U.S. trade policy that developed during this period is remarkable inasmuch as it permitted friendly countries to discriminate openly against American products with impunity. Domestic financial interests were completely subordinated to U.S. foreign policy. Imports from Germany and Japan were aggressively encouraged whereas the... Read More