U.S. Trade Policy Becoming Huge Issue in Campaign

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

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