“My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I’m after.”
Donald Trump wrote these words in his 1987 bestseller The Art of the Deal, and 32 years later, he’s proved the wisdom of this strategy in the success he has had so far in office.
Under this president’s leadership, America’s economy is booming like never before. Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and other pro-growth policies from the Trump Administration, the national unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in 50 years, wages are rising, and new businesses are opening up every day.
In Florida, the state where President Trump will officially kick off his reelection campaign next week, unemployment is down to 3.5%.
However, despite all of the president’s success, this administration's position on tariffs is growing unpopular among his base of supporters and putting his reelection campaign at risk.
Last month, the Chinese, true to their nefarious form, backtracked on nearly all promises from a draft trade agreement with the U.S. In response, the President announced the U.S. would raise tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports to 25%.
I share the president’s anger and understand the desire to ramp up the pressure on them in order to get the best trade deal. However, these new tariffs will raise prices on a whole host of goods, including furniture, electronics, and home goods – forcing the American people to pay for China’s misdeeds. According to the Trade Partnership, these new tariffs, when added to existing tariffs, could cost a family of four over $2,300 per year.
This could not only spell trouble for the economies of every state in the union – but also spell trouble for President Trump’s chances of winning in 2020 as well.
Key political battleground states, like Florida, depend heavily on trade. According to Enterprise Florida, a public-private partnership focused on economic development, the state raked in over $153 billion from trade and was the 8th largest export state in the U.S.
Yet tariffs put these figures at risk. According to one study, Florida’s businesses and farmers have paid some $601 million in import taxes, and have faced an added $153 million in costs from retaliatory tariffs from other nations. As a result, Florida’s exports subject to retaliation dropped 68% in March.
Despite the economic ramifications of President Trump’s tariffs, his position on this issue could hurt his reelection chances. As outlined in a recent poll in Fox Business, there is growing unpopularity among the electorate for the president's stance on this issue.
As someone who was proud and honored to work on behalf of President Trump's campaign in 2016, I have full confidence that this president can and will negotiate a truly America-First trade deal with the Chinese and bring the trade war to an end. I just hope it happens sooner rather than later, because the closer we get to November 2020 without a deal, the more supporters our party may lose. We simply cannot afford the Democrats to sweep into the oval office and push back on the great accomplishments this president has implemented.