Dear President Trump,
I cannot imagine how tough a job it is being President. Though I am sure you receive lots of advice, I would like to share a few thoughts on topics I hope you will consider as you enter your third year in office:
- Trade War – As previous Co-Chair of the Manufacturing Council’s Trade and Tax Policy Committee, I understand the need to address inequities in some of our country’s trade arrangements (particularly with China) and you have done a great job highlighting these issues. However, there are some unintended consequences of your Administration’s approach that are hurting U.S. businesses in general and specifically those in recreational boating. Certain materials have become both more expensive and harder to procure while at the same time retaliatory tariffs from our trading partners are making it challenging to sell U.S. products outside of our country. I appreciated the opportunity to share these concerns a couple months ago at the White House and was thankful for the concern of your staff. However, a lot of U.S. businesses are being hurt by the current situation; so, I would strongly encourage you to “close the deal” on the trade negotiations.
- China – Beyond our trade challenges with China, I am concerned that they are doing a much better job preparing for the future than we are. China’s “One Belt, One Road” and “China 2025” initiatives combined with their development of important strategic relationships throughout Africa are designed to position China to be the world leader for the next hundred years. Mr. President, our competition with China is much deeper than just trade and I encourage you to help position the U.S. to compete strongly in Asia. This can be done by working to positively develop relationships between the U.S. and Asian countries that will allow us to lead in the largest markets in the world.
- Workforce/Immigration - U.S. businesses have a huge challenge finding workers. A growing economy and retiring baby boomers are creating employee shortages as reflected in our country’s record low unemployment rate. While technology will help alleviate this over time, currently we need more workers. Immigration has historically been the fuel that has kept the U.S. economy growing. While none of us want criminals or terrorists entering our country, and you are right to protect against that, we need to develop a policy that will allow in some of the many people around the world who want to join us as contributing partners in our society and provide the fuel we need to grow our economy.
- Deficit – I am concerned that the past two years our federal budget deficit has grown dramatically. For the current year the federal government is projected to take in about $3.4 trillion dollars and spend about $4.4 trillion dollars. Our national debt is now approaching $22 trillion dollars. As a businessman you know this is unsustainable and I understand tough choices need to be made. I encourage you to use your business experience to solve this problem that has gotten significantly worse the past two years.
- Future Focus – I know you understand that the world is changing very fast. If the U.S. does not increase its focus on developing and monetizing inevitable technological changes, we will almost certainly lose our global leadership position. I strongly encourage you to lead us boldly in this area and let’s prepare the U.S. today for the dramatic technological changes that are coming soon. By casting a bold vision that focuses our country on leading in areas such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, biotech, and future energy sources you can cement your legacy for decades to come much as John F. Kennedy did with the space program.
Mr. President, I understand that it is tough being in your position. Nevertheless, I encourage you to lead us well in the areas above and our country will benefit well beyond your time in office.
I stand ready to help.
Bill Yeargin is the president and CEO of Correct Craft.