Obama: Thanks to Export-Import Bank, ‘People Are Benefiting Directly’ from Trade
OBAMA: "What is true is that every worker is going to need some skills. That doesn't have to do with trade that. Has to do with the nature of the economy because even if there's no trade, you know, machines are going to displace routine work over time, and we've got to make sure that all our workers are engaged in lifelong learning so that they are prepared for the new economy in which they are taking technology, taking tools. You go into a factory these days, and it's all computer run. Now, the guys who used to be there, they are hired now not because of Braun but because they can work a machine. They can identify problems. They can help develop new products, but -- but this notion that somehow it only benefits a handful, I was down in Panama, and while we were down there Boeing signed an agreement with a major airline down there, selling a whole bunch of airplanes, and deal is probably worth several billion dollars, let's say $10 billion. Now, Boeing has suppliers everywhere in the country, and those suppliers, that supply chain, involves small companies that are making specialized parts. Can you go into a little small town far away from Seattle."
OBAMA: "And you'll find people who are benefiting directly. They may not know it initially, but because of that order and all of the planes that we've been selling over the years in part because of free trade agreements, in part because of things like the export/import bank, that's benefiting manufacturing workers, not just service workers. When you go into the agricultural sector, you know, Jerry just said that Fairfax has changed in terms of dairy but we're still the preeminent agricultural producer in the world. It's a huge part of our rural economy, so trade isn't just benefiting San Francisco and Manhattan. Trade is benefiting, you know, tiny towns in Iowa and in Nebraska and in Montana because we produce food better than anybody else does, and other countries want it, but in order for us to be able to sell our beef in Japan, we've got to be able to pry open those markets, and when I hear critics of the possibility of us instituting the most progressive trade deal in our history, their answer I guess is the status quo. The status quo is not working for us. You think about how many Japanese cars are being driven here in the United States. You go to Tokyo. There's not an American car in sight. Why would we want to keep that status quo as opposed to have a new deal in which Japan has to open up its markets so that Chrysler, Ford and GM can start competing in those markets."