Even though President Donald Trump is still pursuing legal options relating to the 2020 election, Joe Biden is beginning to build his incoming cabinet after the media declared him the winner.
One of the first people Biden has hired to work in his White House is the man behind a 1990s China trade bill that cost Americans millions of manufacturing jobs, the Daily Caller reported. Steve Ricchetti has been hired as a White House counselor and previously served as Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president under President Barack Obama. Ricchetti also served as deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.
“Clinton credited Ricchetti for leading negotiations with Congress in 2000 to pass a bill that established so-called Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) between China and the U.S. The bill also paved the way for China to join the World Trade Organization, which opened the communist regime’s historically closed-off economy to the West,” the Caller’s Chuck Ross reported. “Ricchetti served as liaison between the Clinton White House and Congress to wrangle votes in support of PNTR, which faced heavy opposition from Democrats.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), said back in April 2000 that on “the basis of trade alone there is enough reason to oppose PNTR at this time.” Clinton, however, said America’s “products will gain better access to China’s market in every sector from agriculture to telecommunications to automobiles” while China would gain “no new market access to the United States.”
Of course, China violated the trade agreement like it had every other trade agreement it made with the U.S., and millions of manufacturing jobs were lost overseas.
The Obama administration told the manufacturing industry that jobs weren’t coming back, but Trump proved them wrong and not only brought manufacturing employment back to where it was before the Obama administration but increased the number of jobs before the coronavirus pandemic, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
Biden promised during his campaign to bring back manufacturing jobs, so hiring Ricchetti seems like a step in the wrong direction.
“PNTR has come under intense scrutiny in the two decades since its passage, due in large part to China’s meteoric economic rise and the perception of heavy U.S. manufacturing job losses,” Ross wrote. “One widely-cited study from a pair of Yale researchers found that PNTR caused a “sharp drop” in the number of U.S. manufacturing jobs.”
Those researchers found manufacturing employment dropping 18% in the seven years after the PNTR was enacted, finding a link between the losses and the trade agreement.
Not that he’s a paradigm of economic brilliance, but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) noted in 2005 how disastrous the trade agreement had been, calling it an “absolute failure.”
“The word has got to go out loud and clear to companies like Walmart, GE, GM, IBM and dozens more, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that they cannot keep sending America’s future to China,” Sanders said at the time.
While Obama acknowledged recently that he should have done more to counteract China’s regime, Biden has avoided criticizing the communist nation, where his son Hunter was able to secure millions of dollars in business deals.