Jobs and the Economy
Jobs and the Economy
Why it matters: Arkansans deserve well-paying, sustainable employment and, with the right policies, Washington can help our state achieve that. Given the right tools and circumstances, small businesses can and will create good paying jobs for the people of Arkansas.
Where I stand: Our economy responded well to the historic tax code changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 [P.L. 115-97]. Hardworking Arkansans are now keeping more of their money in their own pockets and our businesses are more competitive as a result, which means well-paying jobs are being created here at home. This type of pro-growth approach is the best way forward for our economic wellbeing. Providing certainty for business owners of all sizes encourages investment in job creation. We are headed in the right direction, so it is important to push back on policies that will diminish the progress we’ve made in our economy.
In order to foster an economic environment where job creation thrives, we must promote an agenda that encourages growth and innovation—not stifles it. Along with a pro-growth tax code, we must keep unnecessary, burdensome regulations off the books. When agencies overregulate, it creates an environment of uncertainty that slows job creation and brings economic growth to a grinding halt.
Fair trade agreements have become increasingly important to Arkansas’s economy over the last half-century. As the world becomes more interconnected, access to global markets is necessary not just for the large corporations that call Arkansas home, but also for small and medium-sized businesses that are looking to expand their operations and footprints. With a level playing field, Arkansas’s agriculture, manufacturing and small businesses can compete with anyone around the globe. Washington can do more to foster new markets for Americans by negotiating international trade agreements that are enforceable and fair. Another thing Congress can do is eliminate barriers to trade, such as relaxing trade restrictions on Cuba, which is a market opportunity only 90 miles from the U.S. shore.
Congress also has a role in ensuring that Arkansans have every opportunity to compete in today’s workforce. An educated, highly-skilled workforce that reflects the modern workplace is key to attracting world-class companies to our state. That’s why we are working in Washington to grow science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) opportunities, as well as career and technical education (CTE) programs, to get more young Arkansans prepared for the future. Similarly, we must commit to post-secondary education workforce training programs that give Arkansans the skills to be gainfully employed in high-paying, skilled jobs.
These are all commonsense ideas that will facilitate economic growth, create good jobs in the Natural State and allow Arkansans to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. I am committed to working with my colleagues to see them enacted.