Former U.S. Trade Ambassador and Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk thinks President Trump's tough talk on trade is wrong for Texas.
Trump has threatened to tax goods from Mexico to the U.S. by twenty percent to help pay for the promised border wall. Kirk isn’t a fan of the idea.
“Trade is huge for our economy,” Kirk said. “We lead the country in exports we probably lead the nation in the number of jobs tied to trade.”
Trump has also said he's looking at "re-doing" the North American Free Trade Agreement. He says the current trade deal with Mexico and Canada since 1994 is unfair to American workers.
"I have very serious concerns about NAFTA,” Trump recently said. “NAFTA has been a catastrophe for our country, it's been a catastrophe for our workers, and our jobs and our companies they're leaving our country. I want to change it."
Kirk said retaliation by other nations is inevitable.
“These other countries just don’t sit back and go ‘Oh, woe is us,’ they're going to retaliate. Every time we have taken trade steps that some other country has deemed to be protective of our U.S. industries, another country has retaliated and some other industry was hurt by it,” Kirk said.
Last week Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Trans Pacific Partnership - a trade agreement with eleven Southeast Asia nations. Kirk said the move was a mistake
“Contrary to what most people have been told, most of these trade agreements are decidedly to our advantage because we're reducing tariffs on American goods from sometimes 75 to 125 percent down to almost zero,” Kirk said. “That means they can afford to buy what we're selling we're already buying their stuff.”
Kirk feels like pulling out of the TPP will not help, but hurt American workers.
“If you’re an American farmer, rancher, businessperson, manufacturer, we’ll still have to sell our goods at greatly increased tariffs versus our competitors -- and you know what’s going to happen to that, we lose,” Kirk said.