"Like the president he now serves, Anton doesn't understand how the global trading order actually works. Trade agreements are long and complicated today because they are no longer primarily concerned with reducing tariffs (which are already quite low). Instead, contemporary trade agreements are mostly about harmonizing labor, regulatory, environmental, and copyright standards across many different societies, precisely for the purpose of creating fairer competition between states. Agreements of this kind are very much in America's interest, because otherwise U.S. workers would have to compete with foreign industries where labor and environmental standards are much lower than they are in the United States."
If this budget or anything close to it were enacted into law, the result would be a severe setback for international relations and America's standing in the world; for clean air and water for Americans: for progress in conquering cancer, influenza, and Alzheimer's; for the fight against human-caused climate change; for U.S. leadership in science and technology; for culture and the arts; and, yes, for American business, which depends on government services far more heavily than is generally recognized. It can only be hoped that this misguided budget will be resoundingly rejected by Congress on a bipartisan basis.
John P. Holdren, Ph.D.
Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Senior Advisor to the President, The Woods Hole Research Center
Formerly President Obama’s Science Advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (January 2009 – January 2017)