stop the Free Trade nutballs
by Jim Hightower
Where are all those "free-trade"
ideologues now that their theories have turned out to be bunkum, devastating
American working families?
"Trust us," they shouted, as they shoved NAFTA,
the WTO and other globs of globaloney down our throats, promising
us an economic paradise if only all quotas and tariffs were eliminated,
letting the magic of the global free market create a bonanza of new
export jobs for us. But their schemes turn out to be scams and America's
chief export under their laissez-faire ideology turns out to be our
One of their brainflares was to eliminate all of the
world's quotas on clothing, which took effect in January. This has
been disastrous for folks in the real world, which the theorists apparently
never visited. In only three months, their policy has resulted in
the closing of 17 American textile and clothing factories and the
loss of 17,000 American jobs.
This is because duh if you just throw
open the doors to our market and say, "Y'all come," such
retailers as Wal-Mart, Nike and Gap are going to get all of their
stuff made in low-wage hell holes in China. Since January, imports
of Chinese-made knit shirts, trousers and underwear (products that
were still mostly being made in America) were up by as much as 2000
percent! Shouldn't America at least make its own undies?
The honcho of Warnaco, one of the biggest clothing makers
in the world, bluntly says: "We will always go to the least expensive
place. There will be a shift to China over time."
Experts expect that 70 percent of U.S. clothing will
soon come from China and that the 665,000 remaining textile and clothing
jobs in America will vanish in the next few years.
Yet the theorists want to feed us even more of their globaloney in the form of a new Central American trade scam called CAFTA. To start taking policy back from these ideological nutballs, call Global Trade Watch: 202-546-4996.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Lets Stop Beating Around the Bush, on sale from Viking Press. For more information, visit www.jimhightower.com.
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