Good or bad, President Donald Trump’s approach to foreign policy and trade is causing America’s friends and foes to take notice on the political and business fronts.
That’s according to U.S. Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer, who shared some insights while visiting Washington business WEG Transformers Friday, May 4.
While speaking about the effects tariffs will have on Chinese steel, Luetkemeyer also said the U.S. government has growing concerns over foreign control of American-based companies, products and trade secrets.
“Losing intellectual property is a concern,” Luetkemeyer explained. “Instead of dealing with exporting their own products, companies in other countries are simply buying up American companies. China has been purchasing companies owned by Canadian and Mexican corporations and coming in the back door.”
With his tough talk about putting America first and leveling what he calls the one-sided trade agreements, Luetkemeyer says President Trump has put the whole world on notice.
Meanwhile, the company grab is happening in the tech and manufacturing industry, and attempts are also being made in the energy sector right here in Missouri.
“The Fulton nuclear power plant was originally built by Westinghouse,” Luetkemeyer explained. “Plans are currently underway for it (Westinghouse) to be purchased by a Canadian company. I’ve sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin stressing he not allow this sale.”
Closer to home, Luetkemeyer spoke of the recent closing of the Doe Run lead smelter in Jefferson County and the defense ramification it may have on the nation.
“Lead smelters make bullets for guns,” he explained. “If foreign companies own those companies it puts us behind the eight-ball.”
Luetkemeyer said in addition to the tough trade talk, President Trump has taken a completely fresh approach to foreign policy, which can be seen as positive and negative.
“The first thing you do when you move into a new neighborhood is go around and meet the neighbors,” Luetkemeyer said. “That’s one thing President Obama wouldn’t do. As a businessman, Trump was used to dealing with other countries and making deals.”
Tensions on the Korean peninsula, which have festered for more than six decades, have, in recent weeks reached unprecedented levels of negotiation as leaders from both the North and South have credited Trump for the progress.
Luetkemeyer says that Trump can take some of the credit, but his timing was right with internal conditions deteriorating in the North as well.
“The North Korean people are starving,” Luetkemeyer said. “Kim Jon Un needs to get imports coming back into the country, or he will be facing an uprising of the people. Also, if he keeps throwing bombs, eventually he’s going to hit something and they recently accidentally blew up one of their one testing facilities.”
A unified, or at least less hostile Korea will send ripple effects throughout the world and Luetkemeyer said it would most negatively affect China, which would give the U.S. even more leverage in the trade renegotiations.
“China does not want a unified Korea,” Luetkemeyer said. “It would be a democratic republic and would be more open to work with the U.S. and put even more pressure on the Chinese.”