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As both the country and my home state of Ohio work to recover from the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic, our elected officials should look for long-term, rather than cobblestone, solutions to business, job creation and economic growth in the US to promote United States. One such solution should be the update of the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which contains provisions that make it difficult for American companies to succeed.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US lost 20.6 million jobs between mid-March and the end of April last year. This resulted in an unemployment rate of 14.7%, a level that has not been reached since the Great Depression. Families in Ohio and across the country struggled to make ends meet, buying essentials, paying their bills, and putting food on the table. Fortunately, with the spread of vaccines, the country has reopened and our economy is showing signs of recovery.
But while Congress and the government continue to promote important measures that encourage economic growth and job creation, such as providing credit to help companies keep their doors open and their employees on board, ours should be chosen Representatives also make sure they are trying to take long-term action. Job Creation Policy.
Such a policy would be an update of CAFTA-DR, a trade agreement that was signed in the 2000s to promote economic opportunities for partner countries through the removal of tariffs and other trade barriers. While some elements of this agreement have been successful in promoting economic growth, other provisions have hindered job creation. Fortunately, these onerous provisions could easily be made by Congress.
For example, the rules of origin requirements contained in this agreement grant participating CAFTA-DR partner countries “preferential access to the US market” for apparel that is sewn in countries that are part of the agreement. While this policy was originally aimed at boosting manufacturers in the United States, it has in fact reduced the competitiveness of regional apparel exporters, making apparel made in Asia less expensive than their American made counterparts. This strict requirement on the rule of origin harms job creation rather than encouraging it as intended. If Congress updated this provision to increase the variety of apparel produced by member countries, it would stimulate investment in fabric production and in turn create thousands of jobs in the apparel sector. Given the value of long-term job creation, updating this provision should be a priority for those in authority such as Sales Representative Katherine Tai, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and members of Congress.
While it is certainly beneficial to invest in short-term measures that encourage economic development and job creation to get people through these troubled times, it is of paramount importance that our lawmakers and leaders look for long-term solutions as well that make American companies more competitive and thus more successful in the long term. Solutions like updating CAFTA-DR will create jobs and economic growth in communities across the country, including here at home. A full recovery from the pandemic economic recession requires more than simple solutions. We have to invest in a comprehensive strategy in order to create good jobs over the long term.