Trade Deficits Threaten U.S. Sovereignty


When a country runs a trade deficit, it must either borrow money or sell assets to pay for its goods. After running massive trade deficits since 1975, America is increasingly being bought out by foreign interests. Foreign interests now own around half of all publicly traded Treasury securities, roughly 25 percent of American corporate bonds and roughly 12 percent of American corporate stock. Net foreign ownership of American assets is now $2.7 trillion.

According to economist William Bahr of the Economic Strategy Institute, deficits since 1991 alone have created an economic hole larger than the entire Canadian economy. This is a hole that has been plugged by selling away wealth producing companies, infrastructure and government debt.

In 2006, the story of the United Arab Emirates attempting to buy several American ports made big headlines. However, that was only one isolated example of a much larger trend that threatens to destroy our sovereignty.

While we have military to protect our national security from physical threats, America has long been remiss in doing nothing to stop economic threats. Nominally, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is supposed to stop these foreign purchases, but it almost never does.

In 2010, our trade deficit was greater than $630 billion. America literally cannot afford to run massive trade deficits of these numbers. How long before huge sectors of the country are no longer American owned? The U.S. businesses remaining to employ the American people are dwindling at a rapid rate.

“Free trade” is sapping the strength of this nation, and must be brought to a halt if we are to properly recover. We must end or amend terrible agreements such as NAFTA and the WTO. We must work to prevent the passage of other disastrous pacts such as the KORUS FTA, and trade deals with Panama and Colombia.

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