Vol. 55, No. 2

In this edition

by LOU ZICKAR This edition of the Ripon Forum focuses not only on the road ahead for the Republican Party, but on some of the solutions GOP leaders are putting forward to meet the challenges Americans will face in 2021.

What Trade Means to My State

With over 350,000 jobs in Arkansas dependent on international trade, our nation must open up more global markets for our goods and services.

Strengthening Global Supply Chains in the Wake of COVID-19

If the past year showed anything, it is that we can no longer depend on a single, long supply chain. Instead, we should depend on a regional node or decoupled supply chain.

A Nation Silenced

Americans are now collectively afraid to raise questions and speak their minds — even if well intentioned — for fear of a woke-mob coming for them and their families.

Winning the Future

With America’s global leadership in science and technology being challenged by a state capitalist regime in Beijing, it is critical that Congress take steps to win this critical fight.

Getting the U.S.-EU Trade Relationship Back on Track

For the last few years, the U.S. and EU have spent too much time and energy fighting each other that is better spent on coordinating on action against China.

Time to Revitalize Pursuit of a U.S.-UK Free Trade Agreement

An Anglo-American trade agreement would be a force generator for greater economic dynamism and prosperity. And it would play a key role in reinvigorating the global free-trade agenda.

WTO at a Crossroads

The World Trade Organization can have a bright future. But that future is certainly not assured, and threats to it will continue to expand as countries seek out alliances outside of the WTO.

Legalizing Marijuana is a Threat to Public Health & Safety

Despite industry rhetoric, marijuana is indeed addictive. A recent study found one in three past-year users had what clinicians call a Cannabis Use Disorder, or addiction.

Washington Needs to Get Out of the Marijuana Enforcement Business

Our nation’s federalist principles demand that Congress respect voters’ decisions on cannabis — and repeal the failed policy of federal prohibition.

Ripon Profile of Michelle Steel

The first-term Congresswoman from California’s 48th District discusses her goals in office and what the American Dream means to her.

Ripon Profile of Michelle Steel

Name: Michelle Steel

Occupation: Representative for California’s 48th Congressional District

Previous positions held: Member of the State Board of Equalization, Chair of Orange County Board of Supervisors

Why did you run for Congress? I ran for Congress to be a commonsense voice for Orange County. I started my career as a tax fighter after seeing how difficult it was for my mother, who did not speak English, to navigate the tax laws and state regulations while running a business. That motivated my career in public service and has driven me to continue serving at the federal level – I want to help you keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket.

What are your top legislative priorities over the next two years? A big issue for my district is repealing the SALT Cap. The average deduction lost in my district was $28,532. I want to work on behalf of my constituents to ensure they are keeping more of their hard-earned money. I also want to cut down on wasteful government spending, so I introduced a bill that will stop federal funds from going to the failed California High-Speed Rail Project, which is expected to cost more than $100 billion. Ultimately, I am focusing on lowering taxes, creating jobs, and expanding opportunities for all Americans.

In February, you introduced a bipartisan resolution condemning discrimination and violence against the AAPI community. What else needs to be done to ensure the racism, hate, and intolerance today is put to an end? I introduced this bipartisan resolution because the discrimination and hateful targeting of the AAPI community has to stop. We have to realize that we are all Americans, and that Asian Americans are not responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastation it has caused all of our communities. Many people targeted their frustration at members of the AAPI community because they were looking for someone to blame. It’s important that people realize that this virus came from China – not your Asian American neighbors, friends, and coworkers.

Finally, what does the American Dream mean to you? The American Dream to me means everyone has the opportunity to succeed and build a better life for themselves. We are so lucky to live in America. English is my third language, and only in a country like ours could someone like me get elected to serve their community in Congress. On my first day in office, I looked up at the Capitol dome with teary eyes because I never thought I’d be serving this great country in Congress. This is my American Dream, and I want other young people to have the freedoms and opportunities to achieve their own American Dream.