America was once a prosperous country that was looked upon with envy by foreign nations. In the 1950s our economy was strong and the future looked promising. Our infrastructure was expanding and industrial production was booming. Clearly, we were on the right path. In the past, we produced over 90% of the goods we consumed. Our survival depended solely on the strength of our citizens—the way it should be.
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Free trade sounds nice, but it is an extremely misleading policy. In actuality the practice has wrought havoc on the American economy. It appears as though our leaders are either apathetic or clueless when it comes to the United States’ involvement with free trade agreements (FTAs). In fact, “free trade” lines the pockets and ambitions of CEOs and politicians while shipping American jobs overseas.
Usually, anything with the term “free” on it has a positive connotation: free cookies, free appetizer, free purse with the purchase of any item over $45, this salad dressing is fat free. However, using the example of “fat free,”when we ran some studies on supposed “fat free,” we found nasty results. Fat free use to be this great, healthy thing for our bodies and it turned out being the total opposite. Now that people have been burned by “fat free,” they are buying less and less of it. The same issue has been going on with “free trade.” At first, it was great! It was this new idea of trade without tariffs or duties and that benefited any partnering country. However, after indulging 20 years in “free trade,” we realize how bad it really is for America.
The wealth gap between the rich and the poor in the United States has been widening for far too long and has finally reached a 100-year high. “By some estimates, income and wealth inequality are near their highest levels in the past hundred years,” said Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen. “I think it is appropriate to ask whether this trend is compatible with values rooted in our nation’s history, among them the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity.” As the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, our economy is sinking and it is sinking fast.
By looking at cold hard evidence of how “free trade” deals have negatively impacted the U.S. economy, we often wonder how it’s possible that our elected leaders want more. President Obama is asking Congress to give him Fast Track in order to ram through Congress 3 huge trade deals, which one of them alone encompasses 40 percent of world GDP and 25 percent of world trade. By looking at the U.S.-Korean Free Trade Deal (KORUS), President Obama promised that it would increase U.S. goods by $11 billion which would support 70,000 jobs. A couple years later we’ve actually seen exports decline with South Korea, while our trade deficit has increased and we’ve lost 60,000 jobs.