The administration of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden raised taxes, increased regulations, closed America’s mines, slashed the defense budget, and failed to crack down on unfair trade practices. President Donald Trump has pursued just the opposite, and his strategy that “all job creation is local” is working overtime in the great state of Minnesota.
Following passage of the Trump tax cuts, real median household income in Minnesota increased by $8,500, or 11.6%, in just two years. Minnesotans are now enjoying their highest income level since 1984, according to the newly released Jobs Plan for Minnesota report.
On the deregulation front, Minnesota’s corn farmers were harmed in 2011 when Obama imposed a summertime ban on E15 gasoline. That’s gasoline blended with 15% ethanol produced from the cornfields of states like Minnesota. Trump rescinded that ban, and E15 sales have risen dramatically.
Minnesota’s 340,000 farmers also have been helped by President Trump’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule. This deregulation effort ended years of unnecessary federal meddling, granting Minnesota’s farmers significant additional access to their seasonal waters.
Deregulation is also working for Minnesota’s legendary Iron Range, which stretches across Northeastern Minnesota. The Iron Range’s 4,000 miners deliver a whopping 75% of the iron ore in the United States.
The Iron Range had a particularly bad year in 2016. That was when President Obama declared a moratorium on new mineral development in 4,800 acres stretching from Ely to Grand Portage. President Obama’s moratorium restricted access to nearly half of the bountiful Duluth Complex with its 4 billion tons of copper and nickel reserves.
President Trump has restored access to this area. The broad vision is to expand Minnesota’s Iron Range into a Copper and Nickel Range while leveraging the extraction of other critical minerals like platinum and palladium crucial to our national defense.
On the fair-trade front, the Obama-Biden administration announced in 2009 it would renege on a campaign promise and not seek to renegotiate NAFTA, one of the worst trade deals in American history. In sharp contrast, renegotiating NAFTA was a top priority for President Trump. Promise made, promise kept. The new U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or the USMCA, is great news for Minnesota’s 3,400 dairy farms in counties like Stearns, Winona, and Morrison, which will sell more to Canadian markets than ever before.
Minnesota’s famed Medical Alley follows the corridor from Rochester in Olmsted County, through Dakota County and the Twin Cities, and all the way up to Duluth. It is a big USMCA winner, too. This shining high-tech light features companies like Abbott Laboratories, Boston Scientific, Medtronic, and the Mayo Clinic that employ more than 33,000 Minnesotans in communities like Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, and Plymouth.
President Trump’s USMCA not only expands market access for Medical Alley to Canada and Mexico, it tightens intellectual-property protections in the medical device manufacturing industry, thereby safeguarding a staggering 2,400 medical patents in Minnesota.
On the defense-spending front, steep cuts by the Obama-Biden administration came at great expense to America’s combat readiness. In contrast, the Trump-Pence administration has increased defense spending to historic levels.
That’s good news for the Gopher State, home to 21,000 defense personnel and over half a billion dollars in payroll. Consider the case of a truly iconic Minnesota company, Polaris. Its new Defense Division recently signed a $100 million contract to manufacture a new light tactical vehicle for our elite special forces.
You can see from this tour of the Minnesota economy just how productive President Trump’s “all job creation is local” strategy has been.
Peter Navarro is assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy. He wrote this exclusively for the News Tribune.
To read the complete Jobs Plan for Minnesota report, go to the White House website at www.WhiteHouse.gov.