Most people are unaware of the easily observable signs of this emerging crisis. And while we persist with our superpower mentality, we are quietly becoming a second-class country.
12 Ways “Free Trade” Has decimated American Manufacturing
Most people are unaware of the easily observable signs of this emerging crisis. And while we persist with our superpower mentality, we are quietly becoming a second-class country. “Free trade” agreements have allowed manufacturing jobs to be stripped from our economy by greedy corporate CEOs who manage multinational corporations.
It was promised these agreements would ensure American manufacturing remained strong and wages remained high. When jobs started leaving our shores we were fed the lie that outsourcing is the only way to compete in the global economy, and that new service industry jobs would provide the strength for our economy. They have not; manufacturing is the only way to establish our economy on firm financial ground.
Because of this, we no longer manufacture what we need to sustain ourselves, which has caused trade deficits amounting to trillions of dollars. Up to 70% of our economy is made up of consumer purchases, and since much of this comes from foreign imports, it leaves us on shaky ground.
When we run trade deficits, it means the majority of money spent on foreign imports leaves our economy and never returns. The money that does return is the means by which foreign companies are able to accumulate funds to purchase our best companies.
We allow our vital assets to be sold off and take on massive debt to sustain a standard of living we can no longer afford. This is not the way America became a superpower and if we continue it is a sure way to lose that status.
There are several solutions we must take if we are going to turn the tide and restore our economy. Some of these include:
- making American manufacturing competitive and profitable by getting rid of unfair “free trade” agreements and putting in place tariffs and subsidies that favor American companies
- protecting our economy from foreign predatory practices
- creating an industrial research and development division similar to the government-sponsored National Institute of Health (NIH) in medicine or the Apollo project
- changing the tax structure for select industries vital to strategic American interests – steel, transportation, cement and others
- controlling the balance of our trade deficit
- amending or getting out of our agreement with the WTO. It places our domestic trade laws in the hands of an undemocratic organization whose decisions have been consistently and unfairly adjudicated
- implementing our own Value-Added Tax (VAT), which would help to level the playing field on imports and give American exports an equal chance to those of foreign countries
- analyzing every international trade deal by considering whether it benefits America; most deals do not
- using tariffs selectively to prevent the loss of strategic and endangered industries
- curtailing subsidies foreign-owned companies receive from state governments, and discouraging technology transfer and outsourcing of manufacturing that results in the loss of industries
- preventing the sale of strategic companies or institutions to foreign ownership
- encouraging research and development to make American-made goods the best in the world
While government policies for decades have led to significant problems, we must act today to make the changes necessary to fix our economy. The stimulation for new policies must come directly from the broad American public. Voters must use all reasonable methods to pressure elected officials. Without direct and immediate action, there may soon be little left to save.
This article has some common sense solutions to improving the U.S. economy. So, why is it that it seems like everybody in politics thinks that the Trade Deficit is nothing to worry about? I mean all they do is talk about is the budget deficit and the size of government. The Trade deficit is one of the largest reasons for the budget deficit. Back when the countries were still on the Gold Standard, if the U.S. owed money to another country in trade, the U.S. transferred their share of gold out of the Fort Knox depository into the other country’s depository. The U.S Trade deficit for the month (just one month’s worth) was $483 billion. Most of this deficit is from China. The motto: Buy American.