Fast-Track Trade Agreements=Job Losses for Americans

Monday, January 19, 2015

International trade agreements advocated by both Democratic and Republican administrations have hurt American workers, who have lost access to millions of domestic jobs as a result of these deals.


A study by the nonprofit advocacy group Public Citizen says the U.S. lost nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs following the adoption of 16 free trade agreements, such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), which was signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994, and CAFTA (Central American Trade Agreement) signed by President George W. Bush in 2005. The research also showed that 57,000 factories shut down and 7 million “higher-wage service sector jobs” were moved overseas once the agreements went into effect.


The agreements also produced “flat median wages” for Americans and “the worst U.S. income inequality in the last century.” In addition, U.S. food exports have stagnated while U.S. food imports have more than doubled in the wake of the agreements. They have been especially difficult on family farms. About 170,000 small family farms have gone under since NAFTA and the 1995 WTO (World Trade Organization) agreement took effect, down 21%.


One of the agreements, with South Korea, has resulted in 50,000 job losses and a $3 billion monthly trade deficit with that country, according to the study.


The report notes that the Obama administration is working on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact, which “replicates and expands on the same model” of agreements that have harmed the U.S. economy.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Prosperity Undermined: Fast-Tracked Trade Agreements’20-Year Record of Massive U.S. Trade Deficits, American Job Loss and Wage Suppression (Public Citizen) (pdf)


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