FedEx CEO Says Cutting Off Trade Will Hurt American Pocketbooks

FedEx founder and CEO, Fred Smith, who was pro-TPP, says scrapping the trade-deal was a big mistake.

“Trade [is] what made America great,” he said during an interview on the FOX Business Network. “The United States being cut off from trade would be like trying to breathe without oxygen. It’s an essential part of our economy.”

Forty million Americans or about 25% of the U.S. economy makes a living off of trade and 80% of the world’s purchasing power lies outside of the United States, according to Smith.

And in his opinion, China stands to benefit the most from the decision.

“China has been very protectionist and mercantilist, they’ve involved themselves in an industrial espionage and cyber ware fare,” he said.

But Smith sees a real opportunity to sell “huge amounts” of goods in China as well.

“We need to try to stop those things and get the Chinese to open up their $1.3 billion person market, not cut them off,” he said.

The real benefit of trade is derived from opening up the markets he said.

“The average American family gets about $13,000 worth of benefits from trade. One-third of our crops planted in the United States are exported,” he said. “So it’s not just manufacturers that constitute trade – its services, agriculture and manufacturing.”

He added, “About a quarter of all of our manufactured goods go to foreign countries -- we have an enormous export economy.”