Thomas Bentley III
Owner and CEO
Bentley World-Packaging, Ltd.
Bentley World-Packaging Ltd. was founded in Milwaukee in 1942 and is a leading Midwest provider of exporting, domestic and military packaging, warehousing and distribution, engineer consulting services and logistics management. Thomas Bentley III is the fifth generation of family leadership, with a mission to help customers succeed globally. Increasing U.S. exports would solve the nation’s unemployment problems, he says.
“Reflect for a moment on the impact of America’s trade deficit over time. Let’s do the math: 2011 imports at $2.4 trillion, less 2011 exports at $1.7 trillion, equals a trade deficit of about $700 billion annually. If you divide by 365 days per year it means that the United States, in effect, sends $2 billion per day to overseas countries, foreign owned corporations and competitors around the world.
“Americans, as recently as the 1960s and 1970s, used to manufacture much of what we purchase ourselves but just as importantly, sold quality ‘Made in America’ products to the rest of the world. The U.S. had a trade surplus until 1985. But over the past two decades, that has reversed dramatically.
“Several important policies combined with other export support options, will help exports from the U.S. and from Wisconsin. ‘Fair trade’ and balanced trade agreements with other countries are important. Overseas trade missions led by political and business leaders can open new markets. These missions are especially helpful to smaller manufacturers whose products are not highly visible to overseas customers.
“Support for exports by small to mid-size manufactures from our business chambers, political leaders, educators and the general public would do wonders for the U.S. economy. A 20 percent boost in U.S. exports would virtually erase the unemployment problem for skilled workers and create jobs across America – manufacturing jobs – which generally provide excellent pay and benefits. Our country needs to focus on ‘Made in America’ again, for both domestic consumption and for a vigorous export campaign.”