Washington, D.C. Visits to approximately 80 congressional offices were made last week when ranchers teamed up with U.S. manufacturers and organized labor groups to tell Congress that current U.S. trade policy has failed America, and it is past time for the U.S. to do what every other major trading nation has already done implement a national trade strategy that promotes domestic productivity and economic growth.
R-CALF USA Trade Committee Chair Reed Kelley and R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard engaged congressional members and their staffers shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. tool and die manufacturers, metal fabricators, electronics manufacturers, other farm groups and representatives of labor groups during an intense, two-day Washington, D.C., trade fly-in sponsored by the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA). R-CALFUSA is a founding member of CPA, and Bullard serves as a director on CPA's board.
"We believe the diverse membership of our Coalition, once understood, is intriguing to our U.S. Senators and Representatives," said Kelley. "The fact is that organizations which historically have not always seen eye-to-eye on many national policy issues have now joined together. Our call for a totally new U.S. trade policy should cause many members of Congress to pay attention to our message.
"We explained that while the U.S. continues to naively practice idealistic free trade, every other country is practicing strategic trade management," he continued. "As a result, the U.S., for each of the past 18 years, has suffered a huge trade deficit that is the largest in world history. This deficit is running in the hundreds of billions of dollars and is a direct economic drain on our economy, it is causing the loss of our ranchers, the outsourcing of our manufacturers and jobs, and it is the main cause of our current recession."