Now Is Time to Continue, Not Jeopardize Economic Progress

Posted: Updated:

In year one of the Trump administration, Congress worked with the White House to enact historic tax cuts and roll back burdensome regulations. The results speak for themselves.

More than 4 million Americans have received special bonuses and 90 percent of American workers are seeing bigger paychecks since Congress passed tax cuts last December. Filings for unemployment benefits recently fell to the lowest level in almost five decades.

Today our economy is on its strongest growth path in over a decade, and the benefits to workers in Indiana and across our country are only beginning. We must continue this progress.

Recent calls by the administration to enter a trade war and raise tariffs put this growth at risk. Trade benefits almost every sector of the U.S. economy, while history shows us that tariffs ultimately punish American workers and businesses.

Consider Indiana’s agriculture industry.

Agriculture has been and always will be one of Indiana’s most important economic industries. According to the latest Census of Agriculture, the Hoosier state is home to more than 58,000 farms producing $11 billion worth of output every year. This includes $7 billion worth of grains, $4 billion worth of corn and $3 billion worth of wheat. In Indiana’s Third District, which includes northeast Indiana, 11,801 farms add nearly $2 billion to the economy every year.

The ability to export to foreign markets is a critical part of this success. According to State Export Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Indiana ranked 7th in the United States with more than $4.6 billion in agricultural exports. The Indiana Business Research Center estimates that agricultural exports support 34,800 Hoosier jobs.

Hoosier farmers depend on free-trade agreements that are vital to their business. Rather than enter a damaging trade war, Congress and the Trump administration should work together on ways to modernize existing trade agreements.

For instance, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal was signed before e-commerce developed into the economic driver that it is today. In the spirit of promoting more free and open trade, the Trump administration should push our trading partners to raise the level of duty-free imports for e-commerce to the same level as the United States. I also support strengthening IP protections and rules to improve the free flow of data between countries, in addition to removing any remaining trade barriers on America’s agriculture output.

Overall, trade agreements like NAFTA should be amended but preserved. Forty-two percent of Indiana’s food and agriculture exports go to our NAFTA trading partners. This adds more than $570 million to Indiana’s economy – withdrawing from the agreement could cost our state more than 70,000 Hoosier jobs.

A stronger and more secure America includes strengthening vital trade agreements that help Hoosier workers. With our economy taking off, now is the time to continue, not jeopardize, the economic progress of the last several months.

Jim Banks is a U.S. congressman representing Indiana's third district.

  • Perspectives

    • Creating a Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy For Your Healthcare Business

      Obtaining and retaining customers is critical, especially in highly competitive markets like the healthcare industry. But, differentiating your organization with an exceptional customer experience can help you stay ahead in the $3.4 trillion industry. According to McKinsey, 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they’re being treated. Now more than ever the customer’s satisfaction needs to be at the top of focus for companies looking to...

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Infosys Picks Indy For Training Center, 1K Additional Jobs

      Inside INdiana Business has learned that India-based tech giant Infosys (NYSE: INFY) will house a USA Training Center at the old Indianapolis International Airport site. The plans involve 1,000 new jobs, on top of the company's previous commitment of 2,000 new jobs as part of its downtown technology and innovation hub. Vice President Mike Pence will join Governor Eric Holcomb and others for the official announcement Thursday in Indianapolis.

    • Manufacturer Adding Production in Daviess County

      Florida-based ISOFlex Packaging will Tuesday celebrate the opening of a third production line at its facility in Daviess County. The company, which produces specialty plastic films and bags, will add a small number of jobs as a result. The company has invested more than $4 million into the new production line. The facility originally opened in 2014 following a $25 million investment by Alliance Barrier Films, which was acquired by ISOFlex in January.

    • 'Supercar' Assembly Operation Planned For Purdue

      The England-based manufacturer of a car billed as the fastest street-legal vehicle on the road has selected the Discovery Park District at Purdue University for a showroom and assembly facility. Keating Supercars LLC will produce its first model to be sold in the U.S., the Viperia Berus coupe, which is capable of reaching speeds greater than 230 miles-per-hour. The company is slated to cut the ribbon on the showroom late next month and eventually ramp up production at Purdue to...

    • (Service area map provided by Vectren.)

      What Does Vectren Merger Mean?

      A utility industry observer says he does not think the planned $6 billion merger of Evansville-based Vectren Corp. (NYSE: VVC) and CenterPoint Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNP) will have a major impact in Indiana. Doug Gotham, who serves as director of the State Utility Forecasting Group at Purdue University, also says he is not aware of any recent mergers that have been shut down by Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a key hurdle that remains to be cleared. CenterPoint says plans...

    • About IIB

      Inside INdiana Business is Indianas Business News Leader.