Easy step to improve our economy –

Tennessee is Number 1.

Unfortunately, in this case, what we are Number 1 in is minimum wage jobs per capita. We can, we must, do better if citizens are to achieve their goals, take care of their families, and participate in the American Dream.

So what has the Republican Congress and the Republican White House done lately for the economy of East Tennessee? They have given us tariffs and a trade war!!

And the tariffs, now expanded to cover thousands of products, have provoked retaliatory tariffs from other countries that have harmed East Tennessee businesses and citizens. Farmers in East Tennessee who raise corn, soybeans, chickens, and hogs have been harmed. Manufacturers in East Tennessee who make parts for international auto firms have been harmed. Even Tennessee whiskey is threatened!

And consumers face higher prices. Modest pay increases in 2017 have already been completely eaten up by this year’s inflation. Likewise, most of the modest tax cut for American families that Republican leaders brag about will be chewed up in the increased costs (caused by the tariffs) passed on to consumers.

So let’s make sure my position on the current tariff expansion is clear.

The new tariffs are bad for business.
The new tariffs are bad for consumers.
The new tariffs are bad for East Tennessee.
The new tariffs are bad for America.

Interestingly, it appears that Congressman Phil Roe agrees with me. He admitted:
I am concerned broad tariffs have the potential to stifle economic growth in East Tennessee.”

But the people of East Tennessee need more than expressions of concern and sympathy. They need action. Congress has the power to STOP THE TARIFFS. So I’m going to give Phil Roe credit for his recent bipartisan co-sponsorship of legislation to protect newspapers by ending the tariff on newsprint. I just think we need more action to remove all the tariffs that are stifling businesses in East Tennessee. I can see why Congress doesn’t want to anger the newspaper industry, but let’s take care of all constituents, not just the loud ones.

Most Americans recognize that Congress is an equal branch of government with the Executive Branch. Congress should not blindly follow where the President leads. Congress should work with the President to craft best policy for all. If elected to Congress, I’ll vote to get rid of all these tariffs.

Phil Roe still has four more months in Congress. Factories are closing right now. Workers are being laid off. We need action immediately. I call on Congressman Roe to sponsor a bill removing all the tariffs that are harmful to East Tennessee and our nation. Now that this new proposed legislation on newsprint has shown Congress has the authority to act, let’s see some action.

We have a lot of hard work ahead of us as we improve the East Tennessee economy. Education, healthcare, and the opioid epidemic all influence our economic potential and growth, and we have to address all of them so that East Tennessee families can thrive. Tariffs are self-inflicted wounds and are easy to address. A bill could be passed when Congress returns to work after the summer recess if only the will to do so exists.