Hindery: Doubling U.S. Exports is Not Enough

Doubling U.S. exports will not create the millions of jobs needed to pull our nation out of the current jobs crisis, says Leo Hindery, Chairman of the Smart Globalization Initiative at the New America Foundation.

In an op-ed published on the Huffington Post, Hindery says President Obama’s assertion that doubling U.S. exports over the next five years will “create 2 million jobs, about the same number that the U.S. manufacturing sector shed during the economic downturn,” is not a sufficient jobs policy.

“There are three problems with this pledge,” writes Hindery. “First, doubling U.S. exports would create just 10 percent of the 22 million new jobs we need… Second, this strategy wrongly overshadows the more critical imperative of ‘import substitution’.  Third, the first three FTAs [Free Trade Agreements] being proposed – with South Korea, Panama and Colombia – are very poorly negotiated and will cause even more American jobs to be lost overseas.

“President Obama is not wrong to want to double U.S. exports… but this achievement would, in his words, create only 2 million jobs and then only over five years, when we need to create 22 million new jobs now.”

Hindery outlines five actions the president must take in addressing the economic crisis: Create a jobs-centric domestic manufacturing policy; get his entire administration on board; shift our global trade focus with South Korea, Panama and Colombia to fair and balanced “bilateral and regional trade agreements;” create a fair playing field with China, whose currency manipulation and cheap labor costs have given it an unfair global advantage; and provide Big Business with policies and incentives to keep jobs here at home.