CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While serving as a Virginia delegate to the Democratic National Convention, Washington lawyer Patrick Mulloy is also spreading the word about what he thinks is one of the country's biggest problems: trade deficits.
On the convention floor Tuesday, Mulloy, who currently serves on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, took a break from watching the action on stage to make his case. The trade deficit has been $4 trillion in the last 10 years, and that is detrimental to the American economy, he said.
"Why is trade not discussed more?" Mulloy said. "The people of this country know something bad is happening." He's been vocalizing these concerns around Washington for years.
Like many Washington attorneys who make the trip as delegates, Mulloy has bent the ear of politicians and other policy thinkers on the floor, or at discussions hosted at restaurants and venues near the convention centers. Mulloy says manufacturing jobs that used to be in America are now in China, adding to unemployment, and the United States does not have a clear plan for changing that.
Mulloy, also a political consultant, has been to conventions before. But he said the delegate floor pass he has this time means he doesn't have to search around for a way into restricted areas. For example, Mulloy said he walked across the floor Tuesday to speak with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who is scheduled to take the podium Wednesday night.
"It's easier to get access," said Mulloy, a former assistant secretary in the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce and currently an adjunct professor of international trade law at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.
Mulloy was appointed to the U.S.-China economic commission by then-Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) because of his knowledge of economics and international trade. Mulloy also served a senior attorney in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.