CHARLOTTE, NC: December 29, 2016. Earlier this month FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith warned Donald Trump that failure to endorse a revised Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be a severe mistake.
Speaking at the National Council on Competitiveness Forum in Washington DC, Smith suggested trade had already made America great – a Trump promise during his election campaign – and its expansion has been a bi-partisan objective for over 80 years.
"Failure to continue to do so would be a severe mistake with enormous consequences for America and the world," the FedEx founder declared.
In a wide-ranging presentation pitched at a level a Grade-school student could understand, Smith also said that while the NAFTA agreement could be updated and strengthened, Trump's threatened withdrawal would have massive economic repercussions and would be "catastrophic" for the U.S. economy.
Smith's comments followed Trump's recent nomination of Wilbur Ross to be the new U.S. Commerce Secretary.
Ross, who has a reputation for turning around bankrupt companies and selling them on, will be faced with fixing something that isn't broken or breaking up something that will be hard to fix.
With NAFTA already supporting 14 million U.S. jobs, hopefully the U.S. Congress will tell Trump's 79 year-old Palm Beach billionaire neighbor to agree with Smith.
- Simon Keeble is the editorial director of HU Digital Media, publisher of Freightweek and Freighteurasia.