Tariffs and Fair Trade: Left of Center View
I hate it when I have to agree with my friends on the right but in this case, our nation is being horribly raped and pillaged by the trade agreements we have entered into over the last several years. It seems as if each day you hear of a new recall being issued for goods from China and despite the number of jobs that have been created in Mexico to support our consumer needs, they still seem to be coming here to work because of the horrid conditions there.
I think the problem may not be free trade as much as fair trade between the U.S. and other nations. Our leaders struck up these agreements like NAFTA to create more trade opportunities but in the end the result was our unions being destroyed by the jobs being sent elsewhere and the once good paying jobs in America being replaced with Wal-Mart and McDonalds jobs. It seems that corporate America has run amok and our leaders have been wholly complicit in the amok running. While the jobs have gotten better overseas, theyíve gotten worse here. Maybe itís just me, but I would think that with the greatest minds in the world at their disposal, our leaders could work out contract language that brings equity into the process somewhere.
So why havenít the leaders done anything to balance thee scales a bit? Well, frankly, they canít. They were so gung-ho on signing the damned agreements they didnít stop to look at the fine print that says they have to treat foreign goods the same as domestic goods. Who cares if the goods are made in sweatshops with lead paint and toxic chemicals in them? Itís ok because they have this little piece of paper that says their goods are just as good and safe as ours. Who cares that they donít have anything resembling the EPA or FDA over there when it comes to monitoring the goods they make? NAFTA and WTO papers are all in order so the goods must be safe. No tariffs to cover the costs of undoing the damage, no closer inspections, just business as usual.
The real kicker in this is that because of their loose regulations, they can undercut basically every American company for the same goods and use the market forces that made Americaís economy strong to destroy Americaís economy. No equity, no additional revenue for the country, nobody wins but the shady manufacturers and the rich people importing and selling the goods at enormous profits. The American worker gets the shaft, the rich get richerÖand the beat goes on.
LJ Finstermore - World Citizen | E-mail Comments on this column.
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Last Week's View from the Left: Open Borders and the American Worker
Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
ICE Raids Detain Thousands of Innocent People
Political Activism and Illegal Immigration
Integrating Other Cultures Into the American Dream
Employing Undocumented Workers
Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants
Common Sense Laws
Rise & Fall
Outsourcing & Insourcing
Amnesty vs. Reality
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