The US government and large corporations are counting on Americans growing ignorance in mathematics. The US economy is on an unsustainable path and despite Republican hopes that it is all a “spending problem”, sorry, it is not a spending problem alone. There are revenue and trade deficit problems as well. Let’s look at some simpler numbers to understand the real effects of Free Trade Agreements and their effects on the US trade deficit:
When NAFTA was passed and signed by Bill Clinton in 1993, with applause and love from big business, the US had a trade SURPLUS with Mexico of 1.6 billion dollars. We now have a trade deficit of 16.3 billion with Mexico because many companies, including Ford, sent their US manufacturing jobs to the land of cheap labor.
In 1985 we had a trade deficit with China of just over $2 million, yes million with a small m, and as of 2010 this deficit had boomed to a world history high of $283 billion. Ya, that worked.
Free Trade Agreements have been sold by both political parties since the 90’s as “good for America”. Yes, even Barack Obama used those words. So he lied to because the math shows that these agreements have been horribly bad for most working Americans while enriching large corporations, the wealthy and other nations. We handed them jobs. How many? Since 2001 53,000 US manufacturing facilities have closed. It is estimated that over 20 million US jobs left the country thanks to Free Trade Agreements. All touted by the “job creators” as good for America.
The growing trade deficit can’t be explained away by blaming the US government for too much spending. This trade deficit is overwhelmingly the result of US consumer spending on foreign goods, not government spending. Sorry Tea Party, no smoking gun or ammunition here for a misguided rant. You can however blame both political parties for looking out for the corporations touting themselves as “job creators”. Yep, they are creating jobs alright. In Mexico, India, Bangladesh, China and even Pakistan, a country where the majority would like to go full Jihad on America and where textile exports are huge.
So the next time you here any politician talk about “brining jobs back to America” and then give another speech touting the positive virtues of “free trade” please recognize the blatant hypocrisy. Also recognize they are no more than funded mouthpieces for those with the real control in America, large corporations.
It is sad we now live in a country where a candidate can never again run on a platform for a sustainable America. A country where we could again produce for ourselves, staff call centers with Americans who speak English as a first language and focus on educational initiatives. The numbers don’t add up on Free Trade. Are we going to continue to ignore the math and listen idly while politicians continue to champion off shoring? Or are we going to wake up and call bullshit on their corporate masters and repeal these laws that are exporting US jobs and US dollars out of the country?