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Mike Rowe has doubts about Trump's 'Buy American, Hire American' policy

Mike Rowe explained the reservations he had with President Donald Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" policy on Tucker Carlson's show. (Image Source: YouTube screen cap)

Former 'Dirty Jobs' host Mike Rowe expressed some doubt about President Donald Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" policy. He explain why in a segment with Tucker Carlson on Fox News Monday.

When Rowe was asked by Carlson if he was surprised by the popularity of Trump's policy, he said no, but he was nervous about it for two reasons.

"First of all, I'm not sure I really understand it, to be honest. I mean, I'm not a lawyer and it's an executive order and it's full of a lot of fine print," Rowe said. "Secondly, and more importantly, it feels like it might be a shortcut. And as my pop used to say, 'shortcuts lead to long delays.' I don't know if it is or if it isn't.

"If the executive order makes things more fair," he continued, "if it does something to clamp down on, uh, currency manipulation and whole lot of other things I also really don't understand, it feels like happen in the global economy that disadvantages our country, then I'm all for it."

"But if it's one of these things that is going to ultimately bring about some unintended consequences, I get nervous," Rowe said.

"Look, I'm nervous about the minimum wage because I think when we raise it to hurry up to get to an endpoint," he explained. "It's like that wack-a-mole game. Something else pops up somewhere else and it's like rent control. And I want an environment where the companies, who are most responsible for hiring, are dramatically encouraged by the market to keep the business here. And if we get ahead of ourselves, and make it by fiat, or some kind of mandate, I just figure that mole is gonna pop out of another hole and we're gonna have to wack it."

Rowe explained that his concerns came out of an understanding of what the American consumer prefers to buy, even if they outwardly say they want others to buy and hire American.

"Look, once upon a time, in another life, I had a deal with the blue jean company," Rowe said. "And part of what I wanted to do was give the consumer a really clear choice between jeans that were made in America, and jeans that were made overseas. And they were identical, these jeans. I mean I could show you the research one day if you're into it.

"But it was remarkable how the price difference was everything," he continued. "Until those two jeans, the American-made and the overseas were the identical same price, there was absolutely no push, no incentive for the consumer to buy American."

"So it's not just the worker, and it's not just the boss, it's us," he concluded.

Rowe is known as an advocate for hard work, a virtue that he says has been lost in modern American life. Recently he spoke to Carlson about another example of how American culture subtly derides and undermines the value of hard work.

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