Support fair trade, not free trade


Support fair trade, not free trade

Plain Dealer – The Plain Dealer got it right that we should extend trade-adjustment assistance for workers displaced by unfair foreign trade (“Free-trade deals leave U.S. behind,” Tuesday). But insisting that more wrongheaded trade pacts will create American jobs ignores history.

So let’s not repeat it. Since passing the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and permanent Chinese trade relations, we’ve imported far more foreign goods and services than we’ve exported. Our trade deficit — $53 billion last month — leads to job losses and stagnating wages.

In Ohio, we know how to make things that are sold around the world — when given a fair chance. But the proposed Korea pact, for example, will increase our trade deficit in seven high-paying manufacturing sectors, according to the International Trade Commission. Even the rosiest of reports from proponents estimate that passing this pact would only support 70,000 jobs, rather than create them. The Economic Policy Institute, however, warns of 159,000 jobs lost in the first seven years of its implementation.

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