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Appearances: CNBC’s Power Lunch – Fears of a Trade War; U.S. Immigration Solutions; Merging of Educa

Earlier today on Power Lunch, Andy discussed the rising fear of trade wars and notes the difference between these tariffs giving American businesses an edge over foreign industries and the policies working to even out the playing field with trade partners.

“These trade policies are very defensive. There is a difference between using tariffs to try and give American businesses an advantage, as was the case in the [Great] Depression, and what’s happening today which is an attempt to level the playing field that’s already tilted against American businesses and to really get our trading partners to trade with us on a fairer basis,” said Andy.

Andy also maintains that Europe and China are testing President Trump’s resolve to see if he will stick to his non-negotiables. “I think they’ll find this president has the courage of his convictions,” Andy added.

While everyone in the U.S. can benefit from importing lower-priced goods, the people who elected Trump, the working class citizens, are hit the hardest from international trade. “You have to look at different segments of the American economy differently… these trade relationships were not benefiting the working class and they elected a president to change that and I think that is what Donald Trump is going to do,” argued Andy.

Although there is a significant amount of political risk, Andy believes there is a lot to gain from leveling the playing field with our international trading partners. “There is a risk and this president seems to be willing to take risks if he can do what he believes is in the best interest for the American people, and he firmly believes that with respect to his trade policy,” added Andy.

Also discussed was the difficult immigration crisis caused by both Republicans and Democrats, and how it should be addressed. “First, we do everything we can to stop illegal immigration. We have to enforce our laws, if we don’t have borders, we’re not a country. Second, I’d like to see a mandatory e-verify system so businesses willing to hire people that are not here legally and therefore are forced to take lower wages don’t have a competitive edge over the businesses doing the right thing. Lastly, I’d like to see our legal immigration policy change from one that’s based on non-economic factors to one that looks to what we need as a country to staff our workforce… that looks to Americans who need jobs and higher wages,” suggested Andy.

Lastly, Puzder weighed in on the proposed merging of the Education and Labor Departments. “I think that it is always good to look to improve government inefficiency. This administration has made great progress economically by reducing regulation and reducing the size of government. There is nothing wrong with looking at the Department of Labor and Education to try and combine programs,” Andy noted.

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