Across southeast and south central Missouri, I have met some of the hardest working people found anywhere in America. Whether they are farmers, manufacturers or small business owners, they all have one thing in common – they want to do their jobs free of government overreach and interference, and provide their products, services and goods to others in Missouri and around the world.
American made goods are the best and highest quality found anywhere in the world, but in order for our farmers and businesses to survive and grow, other countries and businesses they are competing against must follow the rules. For too long we have simply sat back and accepted allowing other countries to subsidize their businesses, illegally flood our borders with their products or use various measures to circumvent U.S. trade laws. It’s time we finally say – play by the rules or there will be consequences.
Last week in the Oval Office, President Trump took major steps to stop countries from cheating on trade. He signed documents demanding that we fully collect all duties and tariffs imposed on foreign importers that cheat and second, that we conduct the first comprehensive review of all violations of trade rules that harm U.S. manufacturers. Trump’s action builds on my legislative work of authoring and passing the ENFORCE Act in 2015 which helps end unfair practices by allowing companies in Missouri to take real and meaningful action when foreign companies violate trade agreements.
Missouri manufacturers work too hard to compete against an unfair system abroad and a tax and regulatory environment which punishes them here at home. In December of 2016, I met with and sent a letter to the incoming Trump administration asking them to eliminate 14 federal rules and regulations, many of which would impact Missouri manufacturers. In his first 85 days, President Trump has halted or repealed more than half of the regulations outlined in my letter. Two of the biggest regulatory wins for Missourians included stopping a regulation which would have tripled some residents’ utility rates in Missouri and ending Obama’s plan to try and regulate every pond, bucket of water or raindrop on a farmer’s private land. Ending these regulations is a major victory and will keep money in the pockets of Missouri families, farmers and small businesses.
There is huge potential for Missouri farmers, small businesses and manufacturers to sell their American grown or made products around the world, but we must create an environment that is competitive and makes their efforts worthwhile. The ENFORCE Act along with having a President in the Oval Office who is willing to hold countries engaged in illegal trade practices accountable is a huge first step to putting American manufacturers, farmers and workers first, but more work remains to be done. We must enact policies and create an environment where those businesses can bring their products to market with greater ease and lower costs – that means reducing the highest tax burden in the industrialized world, repealing onerous regulations driving up the costs of everything from energy to transportation of goods, and rewarding investments made here in the United States to grow one’s business or farm, not punishing it. Along with the Trump Administration, I am committed to restoring confidence in the American economy and standing by American farmers, workers and employers.