WSJ: Free Trade Often Doesn’t Help U.S.

February 24, 2015

I read the op-ed “A Trade Opportunity for Obama and the New Congress” by Rep. Charles Boustany and Robert B. Zoellick (Dec. 29) and wondered what economic data they are viewing.

[An editorial by Bill Hickey, a CPA Supporter, reposted from the Wall Street Journal  |  January 9, 2015]

Recently the Economic Policy Institute published a study about the effect our massive trade deficit has on manufacturing jobs. This trade deficit with China will be in excess of $320 billion for 2014. When Mr. Zoellick started as U.S. Trade Representative in 2000, the trade deficit with China was about $83 billion. Great growth for China! The study concluded that the China trade deficit has cost the U.S. economy 3.2 million jobs. Of those jobs, 2.4 million were manufacturing jobs. With this massive trade deficit all common sense tells us that China is taking our jobs.

We watched the median household income drop from $56,000 in 2000 to $52,000 in 2013. Can Rep. Boustany and Mr. Zoellick not connect the dots about massive trade deficits and lower income on Main Street?

Let’s use the example of the most recent “free trade” agreement with South Korea. This agreement went into effect in 2011, and since 2011 U.S. exports to South Korea have gone nowhere while our trade deficit with South Korea has gone from $13 billion in 2010 to over $20 billion in 2013. Where are all the exports that the Obama administration promised the American people when they passed this free trade agreement?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the same snake oil that has been sold to the American public for the last 20 years—free trade deals will create great export jobs for our citizens. The countries in the TPP want to export to the U.S. market, not buy U.S. products.

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