We Must End Our Disastrous “Free Trade” Agreements

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After World War II, Europe was devastated. Japan had been hit by two atomic bombs. Communist countries were isolated away from the world economy. This left America in the lead–we were a manufacturing super power. At that time, free trade made sense. By getting other nations to drop their tariffs, America not only gained Cold War allies, but also became a world economic super power. It was easy–we held all the cards.

The same is not true today. “Free” trade has left America a shadow of its former self. We used to clothe and feed the world; now we import an average of $600 billion every year to keep our stores open and our shelves stocked. We have the manpower, the willingness to work,  and the resources. Why are we living on debts and foreign imports?

The answer is simple: “free” trade. As we have dropped our economic defenses, other nations have put up theirs. Sure, they drop or lower their tariffs, but they increase their value-added tax–a sort of sales tax–which hurts our exports. This makes exported American goods cost more.

In addition, American workers make a living wage. But we have trade deals with countries that do not pay a living wage to their workers. This allows companies to buy products made at labor costs at $4 an hour or even less. These products then enter our country, tariff- and duty-free. Nations like China that wouldn’t trade with us for political reasons during the Cold War now reap the benefits of our open borders and their low wages. Their economies are growing and they are thriving as our economy falls apart!

How can American workers compete when our government is signing agreements that are literally putting them out of work?

Politicians are always promising a better economy, better jobs, and more exports. Yet their actions speak volumes above their words. As long as they stand for free trade, they are standing for jobs outside of America. As long as they stand for free trade they are pushing foreign imports over American exports. The Cold War is over, but the Economic War is raging! The United States is not just AWOL, it is losing and the American people are suffering!

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