LIMA — The purview of U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, may be more centered on government oversight, but during a meeting with The Lima News’ editorial board, the Republican congressman expressed concerns over the nation’s economic policy.
“This is the first president since World War II to not have a year with at least 3 percent economic growth,” he said. “Right now, we have bad policies that are hurting economic growth and not creating a framework that is conducive to economic growth.”
Jordan pointed to such examples as the Affordable Care Act, which “every insurer wants to leave,” he maintained. “We also need to put in the right kind of tax code, the right kind of regulatory framework and the right kind of healthcare that’s actually going to promote economic growth.”
Jordan rejected proposals to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, calling it an “artificial mandate” that would not encourage those entering the workforce to gain skills needed to advance in their careers.
“I support wages going up through a growing economy,” he said. “What this does is hurt first-time entrance into the job market. It robs people of a needed skill set. Think about your first job. You may have not earned minimum wage, but you gained the skills to help you move on to something better.”
Looking at foreign trade, Jordan spoke against suspected currency manipulation practices by foreign governments, with the U.S. Department of the Treasury releasing a report in April noting it is monitoring China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Germany for signs of their governments purposefully devaluing its currency to gain a competitive edge.
“We’re all for free trade, but it should be done in the right way,” he said. “Trade should be where you get rid of your tariffs and we get rid of ours and we’ll trade. You’ve got an advantage making certain goods, and you should sell them in all markets.”
This issue has been debated in Congress with the Trade Priorities and Accountability Act, which was introduced last year and is still under consideration by the Senate.
“One of the amendments our conservative group offered during the TPA debate last year was similar to what Sen. [Rob] Portman offered in the Senate, which was one that would say that you have to let your currency work in the market. You can’t play games here, which ultimately hurts U.S. manufacturing.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.