U.S. Trade Policy Becoming Huge Issue in Campaign

| January 2004

A recent Citizens Trade Campaign press release shines light on the link between job loss and trade policy, making clear why trade is rapidly becoming a defining issue in the Democratic campaign. The Citizens Trade Campaign, a national coalition of environmental, labor, consumer, family farm, religious, and other groups founded in 1992, wrote:

'Focus on the failure of U.S. trade policy will likely be even more intense in South Carolina, where more manufacturing jobs were lost last year than any other state, in New Hampshire, where factory workers have lost one out of every five factory jobs since July 2000, and in Missouri, which has lost 51,200 factory jobs in the past four years.'

Indeed, as the effects from trade policy such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) become clear and more American workers are left jobless, the issue has come to be of prime importance. Says Gretchen Gordon, Director of Citizens Trade Campaign, 'The current U.S. trade policy is creating unsustainable deficits, wiping out millions of jobs, and driving the economy into the ground, all for the sake of corporate profits.' Trade policy is often heavily weighted towards benefiting corporate agribusiness and large corporations desiring cheap labor.

The positive upswing to all of this economic downswing is that Democratic candidates seem to be getting the idea. Says George Naylor, President of the National Family Farm Coalition, 'this is the first time I've seen all the candidates respond to the message of Iowa citizens that 'free trade' doesn't make sense and the Iowa economy has been hurt by free trade agreements.
-- Joel Stonington

Go there>>Citizens Trade Campaign

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