Alliance of Americans for America

Economists Find Out What we Already Knew

Free Trade has killed millions of American manufacturing jobs

Free Trade Has Killed Millions of American Manufacturing Jobs

US economists are finally changing their tune to the fact that Free Trade agreements have had a significant negative impact on American manufacturing, resulting in the millions of good paying American jobs that have disappeared from our economy.

The old argument, that automation, and new technologies, were the primary reason for the loss of American manufacturing jobs has been debunked by a study which found that once China entered the World Trade Organization, WTO, in 2001, 2 million of the 5 million manufacturing jobs lost in America can be attributed to Free Trade, not technology.

This study is being called “The Smoking Gun” of proof that Free Trade Agreements, including the Trans Pacific Partnership, TPP, being pushed by President Barack Obama, are the reason why millions of Americans are now living in poverty and on food stamps instead of holding a manufacturing job.

“The ‘aha’ moment,” said Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist David Autor, “was when we traced through the industries in which China had surging exports to the local addresses of their U.S. competitors and saw the powerful correspondence between where China had surged and where U.S. manufacturing employment had collapsed.”
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio said such agreements have “cost millions of jobs.” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said trade accords have “let subsidized manufacturers around the globe sell here in America while good American jobs get shipped overseas.”

The study, by economists Justin Pierce and Peter Schott found that once China received WTO status, and tarrifs for Chinese products were either eliminated or greatly reduced, U.S. manufacturing jobs plummeted, with the apparel, leather goods, plastic plumbing fixtures and surgical and medical equipment manufacturing jobs in the US taking the biggest hit.

Another study by Autor found that the U.S. lost almost 1 Million jobs, (982,000), between 2000-2007 solely because of Chinese imports and were the cause for 25% of all of the U.S. manufacturing jobs losses during this time. What is interesting about professor Autor is that despite his findings, he still support TPP, and he wrote an OP-ED in the Washington Post claiming that manufacturing jobs will never come back to our country. We respectfully disagree.

In 1980 1 in 5 American workers were employed in a manufacturing job. Today that number is 1 in 12. Harvard professor Robert Lawrence said, “Trade explains about a fifth of the manufacturing job loss since 2000.” We actually think that the number of manufacturing jobs lost attributable to China is more than 20% but if we can bring back those 1 Million jobs lost to China over the past 15 years it would serve several purposes.

I-It would lift millions of Americans out of poverty and onto the tax rolls.

II-It would give millions of Americans the pride in holding a job, and providing for their families.

III-It would give millions of Americans some disposable income to purchase American made goods, further fueling our economy.

Bring our jobs home Founder Frank Spotorno said, “If you don’t have a job, you can afford to purchase anything. The argument that Free Trade, and cheaper products, helps middle and lower class Americans, is a false argument. Millions of Americans need and deserve the same opportunity that every generation before them has had-A good paying job with benefits. They deserve the same American Dream that all of us had.”

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