"My whole life is a bet," President Trump said in a recent interview. Those nervous about Trump’s approach to trade — especially the implementation of tariffs (China) and the use of tariff threats (Mexico) — no doubt see him as someone who is gambling with other people’s money.
It should reassure nervous trade traditionalists to remember that Trump is playing the trade game with the best possible hand. As the representative of the United States, he is "the house." He holds better cards than anyone else in the world.
Trump knows that other countries — even the most difficult — have a tremendous incentive to get along with us. When we do well, the world does well. And the world trusts us, far more than any other country. It is globally understood that America’s economic resilience is unique and important.
TRUMP SAYS HE'S OPTIMISTIC ABOUT TRADE DEAL WITH CHINESE PRESIDENT XI, IN INTERVIEW WITH TUCKER CARLSON
We have a large economy, but it's also diverse and dynamic. Stock market ups and downs balance out the other half of our economy. Small businesses, which produce two-thirds of our net new jobs, account for about half of GDP as well.
Right now, the environment for entrepreneurs in the U.S. is outstanding. Optimism for small business is at record highs thanks to tax and regulatory reform that has reduced cost and complexity.
In celebrating July 4 this year, Americans should reflect on the fact that our matchless stability wasn't built overnight. It cannot be replicated with ease. The holiday is the perfect time to remember that America's founding principles created an environment where individuals could take risks, invent, create and find their own version of the American Dream through business ownership.
Our trade partners understand this, and we should remember it as well. It is a fact our president never seems to forget!
Of course, the environment for entrepreneurship has ebbed and flowed over the years. Some challenges never seem to disappear for small-business owners. That includes the cost of health care, the cost and complexity of taxes, and one-size-fits-all regulation.
But when compared to the rest of the globe, the U.S. is always the top country to start and grow one’s own business. This fact has attracted many people to America, including my own father. He came here from Mexico with the dream of being his own boss. He started out as a blue-collar laborer, and later became the owner of several businesses. He always knew this was the only place in the world he could do that.
Right now, the environment for entrepreneurs in the U.S. is outstanding. Optimism for small business is at record highs thanks to tax and regulatory reform that has reduced cost and complexity. The small-business sector's health gives Trump an international economic advantage so strong that it's almost like playing with a stacked deck.
If Trump’s approach to trade makes you cringe, remember that America’s exceptional economy, unique because of its balance of small and large businesses, gives him the strongest hand to play. Every time, in every negotiation, and yes, in every bet.
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Hector Barreto is the chairman of The Latino Coalition and the former U.S. Small Business Administrator.