Despite the Commerce Department’s initial estimates that the economy grew at 0.2 percent the first quarter of this year, a revised report reveals that the economy actually shrank at a 0.7 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate.
One of the main culprits? Our trade deficit. According to Bloomberg Business,
“A widening trade deficit subtracted 1.9 percentage points from growth, the most since 1985, compared with the previously estimated drag of 1.25 points, according to the Commerce Department’s data.”
Free trade agreements would turn this deficit around and provide a needed boost to our economy. As Leader McCarthy said after the initial economic report last month,
“Trade supports over 38 million good-paying American jobs in industries that touch all of our communities. Expanding more foreign markets to free and open trade would provide a much-needed boost to our economy. House Republicans are committed to a stronger American economy through greater trade with our allies, and the Ways and Means Committee has already taken positive steps towards this by approving the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.”
Trade is not only good for America’s economy and workers; it’s also a major point of agreement between Republicans in Congress and the Obama Administration. And two recent polls from Reuters/Ipsos and Pew show that a clear majority of Americans support free trade.
Frankly, our economy needs all the help it can get. We must take advantage of every possible opportunity to promote economic growth. President Obama must urge Democrats to support Trade Promotion Authority so that America can negotiate the best trade deals for our economy and on our terms.