During the 1990’s, the People’s Republic of China was searching for a way to achieve economic and global stability. Chinese leadership was reform-minded, making efforts to increase annual GDP and rescue Chinese peasants from poverty. Favor would come their way in 2001, when former U.S. trade representative Charlene Barshefsky led the delegation that negotiated China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO). After ten years and a change in leadership, China has evolved into an economic superpower that often plays by its own set of rules.
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“Free trade” agreements have flung America’s import-door wide open, and the repercussions are disastrous. Our economy is suffering greatly due to the explosion of foreign-made products flooding in. These products are manufactured overseas for $4 per hour or less, or in first-world nations that protect themselves with a value-added tax – the modern tariff. At such a low cost of labor and with other protectionist measures we do not have, they represent unfair competition for American-based manufacturers.
We are being controlled and directed – told what to do – by other nations, for their benefit and to our detriment. Our direction in so-called “free trade” is not just hurting us – it is destroying us. One look at our condition and direction will clearly show we are in a mode of self destruction.
In the 1950’s, 30% of the American workforce was employed in manufacturing—almost one in three jobs. This country was a manufacturing superpower; we were the world’s richest and most productive country. By 1994, approximately one in eight Americans had jobs in manufacturing. Now only 9% of jobs in the United States are in manufacturing.