One of New York State’s most aggressive Tea Party organizers is calling on President Donald J. Trump to end the North American Free Trade Agreement ahead of midterm elections later this year. Matthew Ricchiazzi, the Buffalo-area political activist and publisher, argues that Trump could flip six US Senate seats this cycle if he simply pulls out of NAFTA.
He points to six vulnerable Democrats asking voters for another term in States that voted for Trump largely on the issue of trade policies: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Clare McCaskill (D-MO), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Each represents blue collar constituencies hard hit by industrial restructuring and free trade policies that privilege foreign firms with access to domestic markets without insisting on reciprocal access to foreign markets.
“I support free trade, but only when it’s bilateral and reciprocal — where American firms have equal and reciprocal access to a trade partner’s markets,” Ricchiazzi says. “What is branded ‘free trade’ in the political discourse is not. Our trade policies have had a devastating impact on the American workforce — and has destroyed the industrial midwest over the last seven decades.”
“The political reality is that Donald Trump could secure Republican control of the Senate for the next decade — so long as he insists that the GOP nominees in those six Rust Belt states are people who believe deeply in the principle of trade reciprocity,” he insists. “Our trade relationships should be bilateral and reciprocal — allowing foreign firms only the level of access to our markets that we have to their markets.”
Ricchiazzi points to the Canadian government’s banking monopoly. In Canada, the banking industry is comprised of five large commercial banks that are considered ‘federal works’, highly regulated instrumentalities of the Canadian federal government. American banks are prohibited from entering the Canadian banking market.
He asks, “Why would we allow Royal Bank of Canada to expand aggressively in California when Buffalo’s M&T Bank can’t open branches across the Niagara River in Ontario?”
“If M&T can’t compete in Toronto, then RBC should leave California.”