Senator Ron Johnson says that Record U.S. Trade Deficits DON’T MATTER!

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This past Friday I attended a meeting with U.S. Senator Ron Johnson in Hudson, Wisconsin.  He gave a 30 minute presentation on the financial state of our country and the ongoing budget debates in Washington, DC.  His presentation cited many of the facts and figures that are included in Selling U.S. Out; however, he never mentioned our record trade deficits.  After his presentation I presented the below chart and shared the following facts with him:

  • The U.S. overall trade deficit in 2011 was $600 BILLION – the largest in the world!
  • The closest country to us was Turkey at negative $78 BILLION – a fraction of our trade deficit!
  • China has the world’s largest trade SURPLUS – a position the U.S. held until the 1970s.
  • The U.S. hasn’t had a trade SURPLUS since 1975 – only DEFICITS totaling over $8 trillion!
  • NAFTA has been a colossal failure – destroying American industry and 700,000 U.S. jobs!
  • Outsourcing and off shore manufacturing is bankrupting the U.S. economy.

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After sharing this information, I asked the senator three questions and he responded as follows:

1. Have you read the copy of my book, Selling U.S. Out that I sent to you a few months ago?

Response: No, I have not read your book.

2. Why is there no discussion in Washington, DC of U.S. record trade deficits?

Response: There is no discussion of our trade deficits because they DON’T MATTER. We could make this go away by simply devaluing our currency…

3. Given the colossal failure of NAFTA, why are you supporting the Obama administration’s proposal of creating similar “Free Trade” agreements with Europe and Asia?

Response: I support ( NAFTA ) FREE TRADE… Americans like being able to buy cheap goods at Wal-Mart… this is a complicated issue that I don’t want to discuss or debate with you right now…

The senator’s dismissal of the U.S. trade deficit shows an ignorance and denial of the facts as explained in Selling U.S. Out. His responses also confirm what I wrote about in last week’s article – “The Elephant in the room that NEITHER major political party wants to talk about!”  Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, and other early Republican leaders would be stunned.

As Congressman William McKinley stated in 1888 …

“Free foreign trade gives our money, our manufactures, and our markets to other nations to the injury of our labor, our trades people, and our farmers. Protection keeps money, markets, and manufactures at home for the benefit of our own people.”

… And President Theodore Roosevelt made clear in 1901.

“The well-being of the wage-worker is a prime consideration of our entire policy of economic legislation.”

Senator Ron Johnson and the other “Free Traders” who call themselves Republicans should become better acquainted with American history.  Like Lincoln, Roosevelt, and McKinley, I support balanced trade that puts America first!

I will be speaking on this topic at the American University in Washington, DC on Tuesday, April 23rd from 6 PM to 8 PM.  CLICK HERE for details on this event and to download FREE sample chapters of Selling U.S. Out. Also PLEASE call or e-mail your congressional representatives and ask them to attend this important event!  I personally invited Senator Ron Johnson.  Hopefully he will come.

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