Nov 20 2017
Focus on Fair Trade Deals Is a Win for U.S. Workers
President Trump has completed the longest presidential tour of Asia in nearly three decades, visiting five countries in 12 days. The stops in Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, China, and the Philippines did not always receive fanfare in U.S. headlines, but the President was warmly received by his international hosts and returned home with wins for our economy and our security. Everywhere, he reiterated that the best interests of Americans are his top priority.
I am glad the President did not shy away from discussing tough topics, including free and fair trade deals and the provocations of North Korea. He also brought up the problem of easily accessible opioids, which flow from China into the United States. Stopping such an influx could greatly help us fight the epidemic, which kills an estimated 91 Americans every day.
New Agreements in China Could Amount to $250 Billion
I share President Trump’s belief that international trade agreements should benefit U.S. jobs and U.S. workers. Pro-growth trade practices help Mississippi’s businesses and workforce be competitive in the global marketplace. In his address at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, President Trump called for respect and reciprocity in any trade agreements made with the United States, criticizing unbalanced deals of the past. In the Philippines, the President commemorated the 40th anniversary of America’s relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), reiterating our common goals of prosperity and peace.
With its powerful economy, strong workforce, and plentiful resources, the United States has a great deal to offer the world’s leading companies. In China, President Trump and President Xi Jinping announced 37 new agreements that could total $250 billion in trade and investment. In South Korea, businesses pledged to spend tens of billions of dollars on U.S. goods and services. In Vietnam, the groundwork was laid for a stronger bilateral relationship.
Regional Pressure Critical to Stopping North Korea
I was glad to see President Trump condemn North Korea’s nuclear ambitions during his time in the region, especially while in South Korea and Japan, which have been threatened by Kim Jong-un’s aggression. In Seoul, President Trump addressed the South Korean National Assembly, declaring, “The world cannot tolerate the menace of a rogue regime that threatens with nuclear devastation.” He also pointed to the success of South Korea as a counterweight to its volatile northern neighbor, stating that “the more successful South Korea becomes, the more decisively you discredit the dark fantasy at the heart of the Kim regime.”
President Trump was right to call for strong regional pressure on North Korea, especially from China. I am pleased to hear that President Xi has agreed to follow through on United Nations Security Council resolutions to stop North Korea’s nuclear program. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also announced that Japan would be applying additional sanctions on North Korea.
The President showed the world that he has absolute confidence in American strength at home and abroad. As he said to our troops at Yokota Air Base in Japan, “We dominate the sky. We dominate the sea. We dominate the land and space.” With a tour seizing opportunities for strategic collaboration and defense, our presence on the world stage is unequaled.