From the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President, the United States of America has Free Trade Agreements with the following countries:
The United States has signed free trade agreements with Colombia, Korea, and Panama, but Congress must enact legislation to approve and implement each individual agreement in order for them to go into effect.
The United States is also in negotiations of a regional, Asia-Pacific trade agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement with the objective of shaping a high-standard, broad-based regional pact.
I’ll bet you thought China would be in that list. Not necessary. You see, we don’t really have any formal free trade agreement with China. Why not? Because they make very little product that competes directly with US Manufacturers. Ahem…excuse me…they make little that directly competes with American manufacturers who have not already moved their manufacturing to China. Tidy, huh? No tariffs, no taxes, just the best labor at sixty-to-seventy hours a week that $1/Hr can buy.
There’s more to this story than meets the eye. It’s not just about jobs being lost to citizens from other countries who make 1/20th of what the American worker earns. It’s about so many other facets that I tremble at the thought of beginning.
It’s about Forced Globalization:
Due to the vast differences in citizen living standards across the globe, true economic globalization was realistically more than fifty years away. But politicians and American Corporations and Banks attempted to speed up that timetable by removing trade barriers and protections for the workers of nations with higher standards of living. The result was catastrophic, and continues to degrade. Nations with higher standards of living continue to lose jobs to nations where worker protections and wages are almost non-existent, comparatively speaking. The reality is that Corporations took advantage of cheap labor and near zero regulations, suddenly finding themselves in nations that were one hundred years behind the US in terms of worker wages, benefits, and safety. In essence, American corporations moved their manufacturing offshore to take advantage of their ability to open new sweat shops in places where the workers simply don’t know any better. Barbaric.
It’s About Profit:
That’s it, not much else needs to be said. Removing the tariffs and protections that made American workers globally competitive meant that American Manufacturers could outsource their factories to places where labor costs and regulatory costs were 1/20th of what it costs to operate in America. Not that these companies weren’t profiting in America; they were profiting nicely. But they got greedy, became barbaric, and pushed for higher and higher levels of profit. In America today, the only "workers" getting rich are upper management, some inventors, and some venture capitalists. The average American worker is either unemployed, underemployed, or struggling to make ends meet.
It’s About Weakening America:
This is a result more than it is a motive. I can’t prove any premeditated motive for weakening America, but the result is the only thing that matters. When 15 – 20% of a nations’ people are unemployed, that nation has been weakened. When that condition persists, as it has, and becomes permanent, that nation becomes a second or third- rate nation. It’s hard for me to believe that any corporation or group of corporations would ever really want that outcome and everything that goes with it. Because in America, everything that goes with that is 400 Million guns and 310 Million pissed- off and informed Americans. If you thought the first Revolution was bloody, wait until you see what our generations are capable of. I don’t condone or campaign for that type of behavior or outcome for America, so something needs to change, fast.
The facts are plain. Free Trade agreements with any nation that comes calling, plus an open agreement with places like China has produced exactly what was predicted; an American Middle Class that is shrinking and sinking into poverty. Just as Conservatives say that you can’t redistribute wealth across classes and not hurt the class where the money is taken from, you also cannot redistribute Middle Class wealth to foreign nations without badly damaging or destroying the American Middle Class. That should have been a no-brainer for our elected officials, but apparently they were absent from school on the day the teacher taught the principles of subtraction. So, here it is, elected officials, PAY ATTENTION BECAUSE I WON’T REPEAT IT:
If you have ten dimes in one pile, and one dime in five other, separate piles, but you then give two dimes to each of those separate piles from the one that has ten, how many dimes does the one that had ten have left?
That is what Free Trade has done to the Middle Class of America. You elected officials took our dimes and gave them to people you didn’t even know, to nations where slave labor is synonymous with "employment". How can the American worker compete with someone earning $1/Hr and seventy hours a week without overtime pay or benefits? How can you have not foreseen this outcome? How can you, having seen the devastating effects of free trade on the American worker, continue to push for more and more free trade agreements? Will you only be satisfied when unemployment rates in America reach fifty percent? And what will you do when those informed, armed, pissed-off Americans decide that they have had enough? What good outcome can you possibly imagine could come from this?
When will you begin to listen to us? Does it have to come to revolution? Does it have to come to abject poverty before you’ll end your mad rush to give away everything that the Middle Class of America worked so hard for? You have weakened our nation…YOUR nation. If you persist, you will destroy it. ?