China has come a long way economically. In 2012, China became the world’s largest trading nation in goods. This has moved 400 million people from poverty to the middle class. Chinese students outperform U.S. students by a far stretch. Also, China is the world’s largest auto manufacturer. This is all coming from a nation that was humiliated during the Opium wars, gone through a long and painful period of dynastic decline, civil war and a backwards economy. It is evident that China has their own plan to improve their economy whereas we in the U.S. have no plan whatsoever.
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President Obama promised 5 million green jobs during his presidential campaign in 2008. Not only did he fall short by a long way, but in fact we’ve lost hundreds of manufacturing companies, with thousands of employees laid off. During his 2012 re-election campaign, President Obama promised jobs again, this time promising 1 million manufacturing jobs which he has yet to come close to fulfilling. He has only added a little over 189,000 manufacturing jobs. With so little being made in the United States compared to decades ago, we must now, more than ever, join together and buy American made products.
Our failed trade policies have ushered in unrestricted, open access to American markets, with disastrous consequences. The results have been the destruction of our economic base. In place of tariffs, more and more countries are using border consumption taxes which put our exported goods on an uneven playing field. Businesses are either closing down or off-shoring, and U.S. jobs are being lost. If the United States were to implement a border consumption tax of our own, we could regain the jobs that have been lost to other countries who have used the border consumption taxes against us.
Last year was a bad year for food imports. From poisonous dog treats from China to tainted fish from Vietnam, thousands of Americans fell ill from imported goods coming from countries with lower food safety standards than ours. This year seems to be no different that last year. A new study by Oceana found that 38 percent of Chesapeake Blue Crabs are mislabeled. In fact, hundreds of restaurants all across the U.S. are selling these crabs as authentic, when in fact they are fraudulent crabs shipped from as far away as Indonesia. In addition, Oceana also found that more than 30 percent of fish and shrimp sold in restaurants are not the species claimed on the menu.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) has a provision called “most favored nation” (MFN) which requires all member countries to treat each other equally. Local, state, and federal regulations aimed at rewarding companies who hire locally, use local materials or adopt environment friendly practices are all illegal under the WTO. A “Buy California” bill, which would have given preference to local businesses, was vetoed by then-governor Gray Davis simply because it was illegal under the terms of the WTO.