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.

What Trade Means to My State

With an increasing trade imbalance for the United States, our nation must open up more international markets for our goods and services. In March of this year, the U.S. trade deficit soared to a record $74.4 billion. This is largely the result of an improving U.S. economy and consumers having money to spend. But it also reflects the failure of protective tariffs to reverse the decades-old trend of U.S. imports exceeding our exports.

International trade creates jobs in the United States, and the emphasis on fair and free trade is an essential element of our foreign policy. Our free market produces the best products, inspires the most creativity, builds the strongest economies, and creates the best quality of life. For all the initiatives that we can put forth to bolster the economy at home, the exchange of goods and ideas with the least interference from governments will serve us best.

Over 350,000 jobs in Arkansas are dependent upon international trade. In fact, 26 percent of our state’s labor force is the result of global trade. We export to over 170 countries from Canada to Israel, with our North American partners leading the way under the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Over 350,000 jobs in Arkansas are dependent upon international trade. In fact, 26 percent of our state’s labor force is the result of global trade.

I am proud of the producers in my state of Arkansas, from agriculture to the aero-defense companies that are giants in global trade. Our aerospace and defense industries include stars such as Dassault Falcon Jet, Lockheed Martin, and hundreds of home-grown businesses that support the growing international export market.

In terms of agriculture, we have the largest chicken processor in the United States in Tyson, with its global headquarters in Springdale. We produce 50 percent of all rice gown in the United States right here in Arkansas. Whether poultry, rice, soybeans, or cotton, our producers need global markets to feed the world and create jobs at home.

Of course, if we demand access to markets abroad, we should also provide fair access to the domestic consumers in the United States. The Arkansas strategy is to maximize the opportunity for foreign companies to expand and invest in the United States. This creates local jobs and provides a level field of competition for our international partners.

Bentonville in the northwest corner of Arkansas has been recognized as the fifth fastest-growing city in the United States. This growth is the result of international trade. Bentonville is the home of Walmart, which has investments across the world, including India, China, Europe, and South America.

The United States needs to work every day to open more markets and negotiate trading relationships that are fair. This means we must be able to protect our intellectual property rights, and our exporters should not be hampered by protective tariffs and other trade barriers.

By maintaining a robust and fair-trade policy, all parties benefit. We are able to export our goods and services, and the world sees the free market at work.

Asa Hutchinson is the 46th governor of the State of Arkansas.