Imports work for America (originally published in The Hill)
By Steve Lamar, Executive Vice President, American Apparel & Footwear Association
To paraphrase Milton Friedman and Richard Nixon, we are all importers now.
How do I know?
Chances are you are reading this while you are dressed.
Chances are — with approximately 98 percent of the clothes and shoes we buy each year being made offshore — you have imports in your closet.
Chances are you are wearing imported products right now.
Sadly, the American public knows little about U.S. imports — often overlooked in U.S. trade policy — and the important role they play in our lives. Rather, lots of attention is devoted to U.S. exports and the jobs and opportunities they create.
Take a look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We hear a lot about the 18,000 tariffs that our 11 TPP trading partners are going to cut, enabling U.S. exports to find a greater share of those market in a region that equals approximately 40 percent of the world’s economy and encompasses 800 million consumers. That’s great. But missing from that 18,000 statistic are the 6,000 or so tariff cuts that the United States will also make once the agreement goes into effect…