AEM President Dennis Slater: Growing Trade Deficit Underscores Need to Pass Pending Free Trade Agreements

Dennis Slater, AEM President

Exports equal jobs for American workers – Statement by AEM President Dennis Slater

Amid the growing ‘bad news’ about the U.S. and world economies is the latest government data showing a growing trade deficit, the largest since October 2008, and exports declining for a second consecutive month. The news was especially bad considering the weakness of the U.S. dollar, which usually boosts international demand for U.S. products.

Last year AEM supported the President’s renewed emphasis on exports, and our association has advocated for immediate passage of the pending free trade agreements (FTAs) with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. Failure to enact these FTAs has put America’s manufacturers and farmers at a competitive disadvantage in the global economy. Existing trade barriers make it difficult to compete in countries that want American-made products.

Export-friendly policies such as FTAs are proven ways to generate U.S. economic growth and create and maintain jobs for American workers, for a sustainable recovery. While our leaders stall, countries around the world are negotiating dozens of FTAs to boost trade with other non-U.S. countries.

Global business demand helped many equipment manufacturers get through the recession, and they still rely on export sales, especially to emerging markets, for improved business results. We can’t afford to have global business taken away by other countries more supportive of their manufacturing sectors. America and its workers are being left behind.

About the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) –
 AEM is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 850 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the capitals of Washington, D.C., Ottawa, Beijing and a European presence in Brussels.

About I Make America – 
I Make America is a national grassroots campaign supported by AEM and its member companies to create more awareness of how manufacturing is essential and critical to the U.S. economy, and more awareness of the need for policies that increase manufacturing jobs across all industries. We are joined by the memberships of like-minded associations, American business owners, and citizens and local elected officials across the nation.

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