U.S. Middle Class is Now a Minority for the First Time Due to Trade Deals

December 10, 2015



December 10, 2015 
Contact: Paola Masman, Media Director 
202-688-5145, paola@prosperousamerica.org

Washington, DC- The Pew Research Center has released a report that shows how America’s middle class is no longer the majority. The middle class currently stands at 49.9% in comparison to 61% in 1971. 

Modern trade agreements have caused this middle class decline. Income inequality has worsened. The agreements put the brakes on economic growth.

“This is a seminal day revealing how trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership have gutted the U.S. middle class," said Michael Stumo. “We are losing the international competition for good paying jobs and need to focus on winning again.”

Good paying jobs have been shipped overseas. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was supposed to create 200,000 American jobs. Instead it displaced more than 850,000 jobs. Similarly, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) was supposed to create 70,000 jobs.  Instead 75,000 jobs were destroyed.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, “More than 5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs were lost between 1997 and 2014, and most of those job losses were due to growing trade deficits with countries that have negotiated trade and investment deals with the United States.”

A whopping 86% of Americans agree that that U.S. companies outsourcing work to foreign countries is one of the reasons for our struggling economy and unemployment.  

“Ordinary Americans understand what D.C. politicians don’t: trade agreements are hurting U.S. families and making our future less secure,” said Stumo. 

The Coalition for a Prosperous America is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing the interests of over three million households through our agricultural, manufacturing and labor organization members.

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