Opinion: Trump should support trade agreement
At a time when Michigan manufacturing is thriving, leaders at the local, state and national level need to do all that we can to support an industry that matters so much to workers here in Michigan and in communities across the country.
I was honored to have served as a co-chair for the Trump for Michigan Campaign in 2016 because I believed in his commitment to working Americans, and I want to help him continue to build on his impressive record that is helping drive our state’s economic growth.
Fortunately, President Donald Trump has an opportunity on the horizon to secure yet another economic win in a little-known, yet widely impactful trade agreement in support of America’s heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry.
The larger HVACR industry is responsible for over 2.5 million American jobs, almost 700,000 manufacturing jobs, and $621 billion in economic output per year. Invented in 1902 in Buffalo, New York, America has been the global heating and cooling leader since then. While we have enjoyed the economic benefits of this leadership position, we must remain vigilant and do all that we can to protect it, particularly with threats from China and its unfair trading practices.
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol will put American HVACR companies in a strong position to continue supplying products that will be in high demand in a global market as it transitions to more environmentally responsible technology. The amendment is an improvement to the Montreal Protocol, which was initiated by President Ronald Reagan because he recognized the value of this industry and wanted to protect America’s competitive edge.
According to a new study, the Kigali Amendment will result in 33,000 new manufacturing jobs, and as many as 150,000 total jobs when induced and indirect employment is considered. These are tangible economic benefits that will benefit the industry, households and small businesses. Make no mistake: anything that is good for small business in America is great for female-owned businesses too. And it can’t be said often enough that new American jobs are disproportionately created by smaller companies, especially the ones entrepreneurial women are starting every day.
As this trade agreement helps promote and protect American manufacturing, it will also serve as another tool in our arsenal to combat China’s unfair trade practices. We have seen time and again how it continues to dump millions of dollars worth of cheap and inferior products into our markets. As a small business owner, I have seen how this dumping harms both small and large companies and the men and women they employ.
Leading organizations that represent these large and small businesses like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and Business Roundtable have all come out in support of the Kigali Amendment, along with a growing list of Republican senators and conservative leaders and activists in Michigan and at the national level.
Our president favors opportunities that put American workers first, and his record reflects just that. I am confident that the Kigali Amendment is a benefit on its own merits, and after review he’ll find that this trade agreement is worthy of his support.
Let’s seize this valuable opportunity to build on a record of success and send the Kigali Amendment to the Senate for ratification. With unemployment at the lowest level in decades and economic growth surging, America is seeing the results of Trump's leadership. I support him fully in taking a close look at this next opportunity to put America First.
Linda Lee Tarver is president of the Republican Women’s Federation of Michigan.