First, he signed an executive order to remove the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Monday. The 12-nation trade deal, which represented about 40 percent of the world’s economy, was seen by some as a way to help insulate the U.S. from China’s dominance. Now, some lawmakers are questioning whether the move has given China the edge when it comes to trade.
Next, he met with executives from some top American firms to discuss bringing jobs back to the U.S. Among the companies represented were Ford Motor, Lockheed Martin Corp., Under Armour Inc. and Whirlpool Corp, all of which have supply chain and trade interests all around the world.
The President took the opportunity to reaffirm his stance on imports.
“A company that wants to fire all of its people in the United States and build some factory someplace else, then thinks that product is going to just flow across the border into the United States, that’s just not going to happen,” he said, according to the New York Times.
To further encourage corporations to employ Americans, he asserted his intention to cut corporate tax rates to 15 to 20 percent and reduce regulations, like environmental protections, by 75 percent. These moves would be financially rewarding for companies producing in the U.S. and they would also make it quicker and easier for those firms to gain approvals for new factories.
Of the meeting, Ford president and CEO Mark Fields was quoted as saying:
“I think, you know, walking out of the meeting today, I know I come out with a lot of confidence that the president is very, very serious on making sure that the United States economy is going to be strong and have policies, tax, regulatory or trade to drive that, and I think that encourages all of us as CEOs as we make decisions going forward. So it was a very, very positive meeting, and I think a positive meeting for the United States of America and manufacturing in general.”
Answering to pressure from the administration, Ford recently cancelled plans for a plant in Mexico in favor of expanding its operations in Michigan.