NAFTA at 20: "Fast Track" More Problems

Trade deficits mean lost US jobs and manufacturing capacity.
Trade deficits mean lost US jobs and manufacturing capacity.
Why has America lost 5.5 million manufacturing jobs in the 21st century?  Why are our stores full of imports while our country has lost over 54,000 factories since 2000?  Why has so much of our productive economy --and our jobs, tax base, and opportunities for the future-- been moved offshore?

The story of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) gives key insight into the crisis our country faces:

Daniella Ruiz January 09, 2014 at 03:57 PM
this free money is the typical 'instant' remedy. relieve the symptoms, but ignore the cause!! try putting a choke-chain on Ol Prez Clintons 'south of the border' bonanza for all the business's that have offshored millions of productive jobs, has given away billion$$ of taxpayer money to people in other countries as bribes to be our 'very best buddies' (ha ha ha) and similar consorts in the global reach for democratic imperialism. (do i sound familiar?) we cannot BUY our way out of this mess, we cannot SPEND our way out of this human resource dilemma, at least, until we hem in the loss of so much of our own national capacity. yep, its great for Google, Amazon, auto, IBM and all those investors to reap multi-billions$ as they exploit dirt cheap labor everywhere BUT HERE! (& the unions simply must concede some responsibility for this!). we have dumbed down our schools to accommodate some pretty darned lazy & intrusive people, allowed drugs to fester as if it was some kind of human rights privilege and chosen some real lackadaisical jerks to represent us in the highest levels of government. it's our problem, we caused it, we can take back our country from the rim of this economic cauldera, but only if the people demand accountability from THE HIGHER UPS! if that means some uncomfortable mob action, let the fur fly, clap the politicians ears and get their attention!"
Daniella Ruiz January 09, 2014 at 03:59 PM
dang, isnt that the picture of the ship that crunched the oakland bridge?
Will Wilkin January 09, 2014 at 04:50 PM
Dave Lersch January 10, 2014 at 11:39 AM
As the US economy will remain strong if it can preserve its natural resources. Now, foreign companies are buying farms, mineral mines, oil fields, and forest products. Groups in the US are against any type of production in the US - like Oil and chemical refining and coal electric generating plants. In S Pa and WVA 5 power generating plants will close and more miners who mine high sulfur coal will be out of work. The Obama administration just closed the last US lead smelter (thru the Attorney General and USEPA - that's how he keeps his hands clean). That means lead ore will be shipped to China who we know has more stringent air emission standards than us.... so we can breathe the effluent for years to come. Im more independent than anything, however I thing the Dems intentionally go after the Repubs on stricter environmental issues to have diverse issues. Unfortunately, we continue to lose American jobs, and weaken our economy. Instead of pouring $ in Egypt or welfare, why couldn't the government have invested in technology (at home) to help businesses survive?
Will Wilkin January 10, 2014 at 06:54 PM
Hi Dave, It is our huge chronic trade deficits that make dollars pile up abroad where they they come back to buy our companies and, yes our minerals and other assets --because our manufacturing was offshored through Free Trade deals so now all that's left to hand over for those piles of dollars abroad are our companies and assets.
Dave Lersch January 11, 2014 at 02:05 AM
Hi Will, I have to agree it is a circle that will continue to spiral out of control. As consumers we had the chance to keep American companies in business. I watch folks in the Box stores by China made tools....however I'll buy a Klein or channel lock when I need it. Hardware stores still carry made in USA valves where the Box stores make their money on one manufacturer/distributor. How is it the German economy and manufacturing is so strong?
Will Wilkin January 11, 2014 at 10:32 AM
Dave you ask the right questions! "How is it that the German economy is so strong?" I am not an expert but I am an interested observer and therefore I will soon post a Patch blog on that very question. It is something I have thought and read about, mainly due to the same thinking you seem to have, why is America losing our manufacturing not just to low-wage countries like China but to Germany, a high-wage unionized and rich country that, in contrast to the USA, is enjoying a trade surplus. Stay tuned Dave, I'll attempt to answer that on Patch in the next few days....


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