Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Trade Agreements Cost Jobs

The first debate of the 2012 presidential race, with personalized, provocative questions planned by Fox News, was good political entertainment, but somehow didn't get around to tackling the biggest issue: how do the candidates plan to replace the millions of U.S. middle-class jobs that have gone overseas. The unemployment rate has now topped 9% for the 22nd month. But that figure doesn't paint the jobs picture as bleak as it really is because only 80% of men in their prime working years, between ages 25 and 54, have a job (compared to 95% during the 1960s). Even that statistic doesn't measure the millions of men of that age who are now working for one half, or one quarter, or even one-tenth of the wage for the job they lost. Obama is bragging that the economy added 268,000 new jobs last year, but 62,000 of those were hired by McDonald's because Obama gave that chain a waiver from ObamaCare.

This month, former trade negotiator and now Senator Rob Portman unveiled what he called a "Senate Republican Jobs Plan." Unfortunately, it includes asking Congress to hurry up and ratify the Korean-U.S. Free Trade Agreement known as KORUS. KORUS is another bad trade agreement that will import more cheap Asian products and export more U.S. jobs. This KORUS treaty is supported by the globalists, who think Americans should compete with Asians who work for less than one-third (often as little as one 20th) of the wages that Americans expect for similar work. Here's what trade with South Korea means. In 2007, the U.S. sold 7,000 American vehicles in South Korea, while South Korea sold 615,000 vehicles in the U.S. In 2010, South Korea's auto sales in the U.S. totaled $7.41 billion, while U.S. auto sales in Korea totaled only $536 million.

Any jobs plan that depends on trade agreements like KORUS is a recipe for losing more U.S. jobs and increasing our trade deficit. We needs some trade negotiators who will get a better deal for Americans.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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