Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Trade Treaties Wipe Out U.S. Jobs

The big argument President Obama makes to try to get Congress to pass the foreign trade deals he and his pals negotiated in secret is that Americans are only 5 percent of the world's population and we should be selling our products to the other 95 percent. However, that figure is really 95 percent baloney. Most of those 95 percent do not have the money to buy U.S. products or services. The World Bank reports that 17% of the world's population lives on $1.25 a day, and another 18% lives on less than $2 per day. The global median income is $3 to $4 per day; that means that half the world's population earns less than that. That doesn't sound like they are a good bet to buy American-made goods. The people in foreign countries who are called "middle class" live on the equivalent of $2 to $4 per day.

When the foreign trade agreement was signed with Korea several years ago, we were promised dramatic increases in manufactured exports. That turned out to be a false promise. What actually happened was that our trade balance with Korea got worse, not better. Our exports to Korea declined and our imports increased 60 percent.

Do you remember NAFTA? That's the short name for the North American Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA was predicted to create 20,000 new U.S. jobs by increasing our exports to Mexico. That turned out to be another pipe dream; NAFTA eliminated 600,000 U.S. jobs.

In Obama's first presidential debate last year, he claimed that passage of free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Columbia would create U.S. jobs because they would double our exports and promote his goal of "a seamless regional economy." That was all something between a pipe dream and a lie.

Free trade is a cheat on Americans. We abide by the rules and foreign countries don't. And I do not believe Americans should be forced by our government's policies to compete with the low wages in foreign countries.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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