They say that those who do not learn their history are doomed to repeat it. This certainly seems to be the case with our political leaders who, after two decades of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), are negotiating more “free trade” agreements. This despite the fact that the lessons to be learned from NAFTA are clear and should steer us away from “free trade”.
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We’ve already witnessed how harmful “free trade” can be. Under the North American “Free Trade” Agreement (NAFTA) and the Korean U.S. “Free Trade” agreement (KORUS) we’ve seen massive job losses, the decimation of entire industries, soaring national debt, alarming trade deficits, a flood of dangerous imports into our markets and more. We’re even beginning to see a rise in urban decay as businesses close down in big cities, like Detroit, for lack of jobs and the shrinking tax base.
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.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a “free trade” agreement that, if passed, would unite the economies of Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico, Canada and the United States. Even Japan has recently signed on to the negotiations.
Congress has introduced another bill that could potentially bring “free trade” a step closer to fair trade, but as with similar legislation, it has reached a stall in committee. The Reciprocal Market Access Act of 2013 would promote equal market accessibility between the United States and foreign producers.