“Free trade” sounds great. Consumers get the benefit of increased competition for their buying dollars, manufacturers get to locate or source from the lowest cost labor pool, exporters have the opportunity to sell into new markets with no tariffs. So what could be bad about that?
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Politicians were never supposed to have the kind of stranglehold on their offices they hold today. The American public is passively condoning this ineffective system by not demanding better. We need to be able to recall leaders who do not live up to their campaign promises. A lot of damage can be done in a two year term in the House of Representatives, and even more with four years in the White House or six years in the Senate.
America’s economic problems are no secret. Nations like China are growing more and more economically powerful, while America is spiraling out of control. Losing an average of $600 billion dollars per year in trade deficits adds up, and the new low-wage economy neither brings in the needed tax dollars to run the country, nor gives citizens enough money to pay the bills. The more imports we buy, the more other nations prosper, and the more America falls deeper and deeper into third world status.
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.
“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.