The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the Nation’s vulnerability to global supply-chain shocks. We live in an interdependent global economy and we must rebuild America’s industrial capacity and bring back critical manufacturing capabilities needed for a balanced 21st Century economy. Investing in infrastructure and incentivizing companies to build resiliencies into their supply chains will prepare the United States to expand exports and confront the next global economic crisis.
Expanding exports will help cities grow their economies and create jobs. Ninety-five percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States, and American trade supports 41 million jobs. American workers are better trained and more innovative than any other workforce on the planet. Rebuilding manufacturing capabilities will create jobs and help the United States prepare for the next global supply-chain shock. Expanding industrial capacity will position the American economy to lead the world toward economic world recovery.
Modernizing trade agreements to create a level playing field by lowering tariffs on U.S.-made goods and promoting universal adoption, accountability, and genuine, ongoing enforcement of high labor and environmental standards will help American businesses sell products in expanding global markets.
U.S. metro areas play a critical role in American exports, accounting for nearly 90 percent of U.S. goods sold abroad and providing key infrastructure such as ports and intermodal facilities to efficiently move goods. Port and export-related jobs have 15 percent to 18 percent higher wage levels and therefore contribute to building a strong, vibrant middle class. Federal programs that assist small and medium-sized businesses in exporting are crucial to a healthy economy.
International travelers stay longer and spend more than domestic travelers; they support artistic performances and cultural attractions. In 2019, almost 80 million international visitors came to the United States, spending more than $196 billion. International visitors accounted for over 1.2 million jobs, providing opportunities to new immigrants, and generating $33.6 billion in wages. The COVID-19 pandemic has paralyzed the travel industry, threatening jobs and tax revenues on an unprecedented scale.
Therefore, mayors call on the President and Congress to:
- Restore America’s economy by fixing the Nation’s ailing infrastructure, enacting an ambitious infrastructure program to jumpstart the economy, create good-paying jobs, and make the United States economy stronger and more resilient than before the pandemic.
- Successfully negotiate a comprehensive trade agreement with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
- Enforce the Labor and Environmental provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
- Support high-standard trade deals with enforceable labor and environmental standards.
- Expand national programs to help small and medium-sized businesses export goods overseas.
- Support full funding for our Nation’s arts, culture and tourism agencies, and support programs to encourage creative workers and creative businesses.
- Support expanding the Visa Waiver Program to facilitate travel, trade and education.