Rochester Tooling & Machining Association

Keynote Address

Manufacturing in the Empire State

Kevin J. Kelley, RTMA Executive Director

In mid-April, the RTMA co-sponsored an event with the Coalition for a Prosperous America, the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance and the Manufacturers Association of Central New York on the importance of manufacturing in both the New York and national economies.

The principal speaker was Dan DiMicco, Chairman Emeritus, Nucor Steel Corporation. Under DiMicco’s leadership, Nucor Steel was recognized by BusinessWeek as the nation’s number one company, based on sales growth and return on investment.

He spoke about the decline of American Manufacturing, and manufacturing in New York, directly related to the current free trade policies.

The U.S. Trade Deficit caused our Gross Domestic Product to be 3 percent less in 2014 than it would have been with balanced trade. The U.S. bought 737 billion dollars more goods than it sold. Its goods trade deficit with China hit an all-time high of over 342 billion dollars. The trade deficit reduced U.S. Gross Domestic Product by 2.5 to 5.5 percent each year in the last ten years. Dan DiMicco identified the remedy to this consistent decline in the U.S. Economy.

Congress should establish a national goal for balancing trade over a reasonable period of time. How would this be done? It would involve the following:

  • Direct trade negotiators to pursue trade deficit reduction as a primary negotiating objective.
  • Review past agreements for compliance with this objective.
  • Renegotiate those that fail the test.
  • Use tax, fiscal and monetary policy to achieve the goal.

To quote the Coalition for a Prosperous America, "Persistent trade deficits are not true, free and fair trade, but rather dumb trade."

Here’s what you can do. Contact our members of Congress, and tell them that we need a national balanced trade policy. The contact information is below. Please let me know if you have any questions about the need for balanced trade.

U.S. Senate

     Hon. Charles E. Schumer (D-I-W)

     Hon. Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-W-I)

U.S. House of Representatives (Congress)

     Hon. Louise M. Slaughter (D-W)

     Hon. Chris Collins (R-C-I)

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