Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company is one of the country's largest producers of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings. We are a fifth generation family-owned and operated manufacturer headquartered in Charlotte, NC, with seven plant locations across the United States. We are in an energy-intensive, trade-sensitive sector of our economy and, despite the worst recession in 2008 since the Great Depression, we have not had a layoff in more than three decades at our Plastics Division and since 1957 in our Foundry Division.
The primary task of the management team at Charlotte Pipe is to keep our people working in safe, high-paying, middle class jobs — a task that is becoming harder and harder to do because of our federal government. Over the last seven years, we have seen unprecedented government intrusion in the private sector — from banking to autos, health care, energy and the internet. We have become alarmed that the Obama administration has brazenly disregarded co-equal branches of government and the constitutional limits on executive power to enact their ideological agenda.
Politicized government agencies have engaged in significant regulatory overreach and antagonistic enforcement. The Obama administration has imposed an astronomical 20,642 new regulations since Obama took office in 2009, according to a report from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research think tank. And, federal regulations cost the U.S. $1.9 trillion in 2015, according to a separate report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank.
Environmental and energy regulations alone are driving manufacturers overseas or out of business.
And it's not just regulation that is hurting manufacturers. We need to re-tool our trade policies. China and other countries have long suppressed the value of their currencies against the dollar to make their exports cheaper and U.S. products artificially more expensive in their markets. Currency manipulation, along with export subsidies and a lack of regulation, means Chinese companies can dump their goods in the U.S. at prices far below the market and undercut U.S. manufacturers.
We need to restore manufacturing to its central role in the U.S. economy. But the exodus of manufacturing jobs leaving the U.S. and going overseas is not just a jobs issue — it is a national security issue. If we do not have the factories and the workforce necessary to equip and support our military, we will not be able to defend our nation.
Finally, beyond the business aspects of Trump versus Clinton, my personal feeling is that we must restore trust in government. Any other public official besides Secretary of State Clinton would have been prosecuted for some of the actions that the Clintons have been engaged in for more than four decades. A nation that values democracy doesn't work when you have one set of rules for the governing elite and one for the citizenry.
If we elect Hillary Clinton as president, we will have acknowledged that America is corrupt and that we value ideology over ethics and character. And that will mark the beginning of the end of our great republic.