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Nate Jackson / Jul. 2, 2020

4.8 Million Jobs, the USMCA, and the 2020 Election

A sterling jobs report receives dour media treatment, while Trump works to improve.

Democrats and their Leftmedia publicists really do not want the American economy to improve — at least not until Joe Biden (or his running mate in his stead) is ensconced in the Oval Office on January 20, 2021. Thus even with another record-breaking jobs report, the Associated Press is still playing Eeyore, running this headline earlier this morning: “A predicted surge in US job growth for June might not last.” Gotta keep that skyrocketing consumer confidence tamped down.

Once the incredibly great news exceeded expectations, that headline became a rather pedestrian treatment of it: “US adds 4.8 million jobs as unemployment falls to 11.1%.” Then the AP edited the good news out entirely, leaving only the utterly dour: “US unemployment falls to 11%, but new shutdowns are underway.”

In a sense, the pessimism is understandable. “The nation has now recovered roughly one-third of the 22 million jobs it lost to the pandemic recession,” the AP reports, while noting that spiking coronavirus cases and moves to reshutter some businesses will indeed stall a recovery. The economy is certainly not out of the proverbial woods yet, and if governors insist on closing businesses again rather than taking other mitigating efforts, we may collectively take one step forward and two steps back.

Enter President Donald Trump and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which took effect yesterday. As we have noted before, the USMCA serves to keep one of Trump’s campaign promises by improving trade relations with Canada and Mexico. The USMCA is not quite the wholesale replacement of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), as the president often claims. Nor was NAFTA a “disaster” or the “worst trade deal ever made,” as he decries. But the USMCA is a general improvement and modernization of the 1994 deal that should help create more American jobs.

“The USMCA is a big deal,” says Reason’s Eric Boehm. “Canada and Mexico are the top recipients of U.S. exports. The United States imports more goods from those two countries than anywhere else except China. The deal will affect more than $1 trillion in annual trade between the U.S. and its two neighbors.”

And as Trump declared, “Manufacturing looks like it’s ready to take off to a level that it’s never been. A lot of that has to do with our trade policy, because we’re bringing manufacturing back to our country.” He has made that a priority like few recent presidents, and, broadly speaking, his economic and regulatory policies deserve credit for why our economy was able to sustain the body blow of the coronavirus pandemic.

In any case, the economic choice this November is clear. One party wants to prolong and deepen a recession and then tax, spend, and regulate our way out of it. The president and his party, by contrast, want to keep America great by preserving lower taxes, less regulation, and Liberty itself.

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