Free Trade Has Failed Because It’s Neither Free Nor Fair
The United States has not witnessed a trade surplus since 1975. $7.4 trillion has been lost through trade deficits between 2000 and 2011 alone. This is caused by “free trade” on our end and protectionism on the other. “Free trade” has essentially led to the most massive wealth transfer in the history of the world.
Free trade is uncontrolled, unrestricted access to our economy, tariff- and duty-free, with products produced at labor rates in foreign countries much lower than ours, sometimes as low as $4 per hour, that we cannot compete with. Free trade is thus forcing us to outsource most of our manufacturing, enriching the individuals and companies that outsource our manufacturing, turning more millionaires into billionaires while our own labor force – the middle class – evaporates.
One of the most significant flaws with all of our “free trade” agreements is that they are impossible to enforce. If “free trade” is impossible to enforce, competition becomes impossible. “Free trade” depends on the premise that all countries will play by the same rules. However, in the real world, assuring that this occurs is incredibly expensive, time-consuming and inefficient to contest. We have simply been unable to create a universally free market. All evidence points to the fact that “free trade” works only in theory.
The reality is that tariffs are not the only barrier to fair trade. Trade is impacted by much more intangible state-sponsored “trade weapons” such as currency manipulation, technology transfer requirements, joint-venture policies, selective customs policies, underhanded government subsidies and countless other tools.
Under so-called “free trade” agreements, the U.S. essentially relies on faith-based economic policy with other countries. We agree to play ball by the rules and, because of the nature of the game, are unable to ensure that others play fair.
Americans should be united against what has essentially been the foreign oppression of America’s industrial base. We are losing an economic war we fail to realize we’re fighting. We are oblivious and our competition has taken full advantage of that, exploiting our naivety. America, it’s time to wake up and take action.