creative devastation is on its way…

One of the key differences in ideology in the past election was trade. Russ Feingold has always been the champion of of the “fair traders” and Ron Johnson came onto the scene touting the wonders of NAFTA/GATT etc… as \"creative destruction\". In a state that has lost over 80,000 jobs to China, the electorate chose creative destruction. Practically before the election returns were in, the Obama administration was caving in on implementing the South Korean Free Trade agreement.

In the year of dumb, facts do not seem to matter(for that matter neither do ideas or issues but thats another post). To actually take a look at these trade deals we see that the results are when we sign an agreement with a country trade with that country goes down.

A report from Public Citizens Global Trade Watch says:

This report, written by Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, reveals that the growth of U.S. exports to countries with which the United States does not have Free Trade Agreements (FTA) has outpaced the growth of exports to the 17 U.S. FTA partners.

For those people in Wisconsin who actually think that we have not been affected by these agreements, or that we do not want to mess with trade or they wont trade with us.

Wisconsin\'s own Lori Wallach, begs to differ.

Over 650 Wisconsin firms and 68,000 workers met the rigorous terms of one narrow government program – called Trade Adjustment Assistance – to be certified as trade casualties since NAFTA and WTO. This includes 1,400 Chippewa Falls and 660 Appleton workers who made the most modern of goods – circuit boards. Also certified are 810 Manitowoc former Anchor Hocking workers and many southern Wisconsin autoworkers. We’re still buying that cookware and those cars; they’re just not made here anymore.

That’s OK, say defenders of current trade policies, because we get cheaper imports while the agreements boost exports. But an Economic Policy Institute study shows that downward pressure on U.S. wages caused by export of high-paying jobs (inflation-adjusted median wages are now down to 1972 levels) now outweighs gains from cheaper imports. The result? The average American worker loses over $2,000 from our trade policy annually. Another study shows that U.S. export growth to the countries we have NAFTA-style agreements with is less than half that to our other trade partners.

If Ron Johnson has his way, many people in Wisconsin and elsewhere will have plenty of time to think if they made the right decision last Tuesday or not.


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