The U.S. Trade Deficit has become Unmanageable, how can We Fix it?
It is no secret that the United States’ trade deficit is through the roof. We have an alarming number of loans from foreign governments. Unfortunately, this places us in an unfavorable position because it allows other countries to influence our economic decisions. In fact, laws regulating what other countries can ship into the United States have been eliminated due to one-way “free-trade” agreements like NAFTA and the KORUS FTA.
Because goods can be manufactured cheaper in other parts of the world—where workers are paid as little as $1 an hour—American business owners are faced with a dilemma: compete by outsourcing or risk going out of business.
Lower-wage countries have always existed, but in the past the United States had measures in place that protected our manufacturing companies. It used to be commonplace for measures to be in place to assure that the United States was self-sufficient—that we could produce what we consumed, could build the things we use to defend the nation and that overall we could employ ourselves. However, this is no longer the case.
American consumers are drawn towards cheap goods, and as a result of “free trade” agreements (FTA), we have forfeited our self-sufficiency in exchange for cheap goods being manufactured in other countries. This is a direct result of other countries and multinational organizations lobbying for us to reduce the laws and tariffs that formerly used to protect our own manufacturers and businesses.
The United States is now extremely vulnerable. We are vulnerable because we no longer produce what we need for America’s everyday consumption. We rely too heavily on imports to supply our daily needs. This is a dangerous corner to be stuck in, because what happens when a conflict or disagreement arises that brings a sudden end to those imports? It is the average American citizen that will be gravely affected.
The U.S. is losing massive amounts of money annually to foreign countries through trade losses. And the discouraging thing is that money does not get returned to us through buying goods and services. Instead, these same countries to whom we are losing money are the ones purchasing control of American industries, buying our core companies and bankrolling our government.
As a result, it is foreign investors, not the government of the United States of America, who truly control our economy. It is foreign lenders who are propping up the U.S. government through loans.
This is a problem and a huge risk to the prosperity of America’s future, because our national debt is skyrocketing. As our debt continues to rise, we run the risk of foreign lenders demanding more and more of our assets. What happens when those assets run out? As our debts continues to rise, there will be less and less of the U.S. to offer as security in exchange for credit.
So the question remains: what, if anything, is being done to remedy our situation? Sadly, with each new administration, the answer is less and less. Swift action is needed to remedy the course we’re on. Too little light is being shed on our current vulnerable economic state. U.S. leaders need to step up and seek solutions to strengthen our economy, so that we are not so dependent on other countries. That is the only way America can become a self-sustaining, proud and productive country again.