The WTO is Stifling American Prosperity

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The United States joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the mid-1990s with the promise of increased prosperity, but the result has been quite the opposite. Our membership in the WTO has stripped us of jobs, as well as our ability to choose the best policies for our country. The WTO is the embodiment of the free trade principles that have failed our country again and again.  We must rid ourselves of our obligation to this job-killing organization if we ever want to restore America’s economic greatness.

Our membership in the WTO has opened up American businesses to cheap competition from all over the world. This has cost the United States millions of jobs at a time when those jobs are needed more than ever. The United States lost an average of 14 factories per day between 2001 and 2013. These factories are the kinds of businesses that create real, sustainable wealth when given the support they need to compete, but our membership in the WTO has pulled the rug right out from under them.

When these factories were the center of the American economy, we had strong communities. When workers earn a living wage, they use that money to pay their taxes, invest in homes, support local businesses, and give to local charities. With factory jobs gone, American workers have been forced to compete for low-paying service sector jobs, and the lower wages earned in these jobs are not enough to support the kind of communities we once had. When the money earned is spent, much of it is spent on goods made overseas. This means the money being spent is leaving our country and is being used to build strong communities abroad instead of here in the United States.

Beyond opening our borders to cheap imported goods, the WTO keeps us from taking action to protect our citizenry. The WTO routinely rules against public interest legislation in the U.S., such as that providing for “dolphin-safe” labels on tuna or country of origin labeling on meat and fish. Overall, the WTO agreement has had a negative effect on the lives of everyday Americans, and we should get out of it as soon as possible.

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