Free Trade? But At What Cost?

It’s ironic that while Obama was unsuccessfully promoting his jobs bill that would have added 1.9 million American jobs, he successfully promoted three free trade agreements which will destroy millions of American jobs along with hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs (or more) in Colombia, Panama, and South Korea.  They don’t like trade unionists in Colombia, no sir. In fact, over two hundred trade unionists have been murdered there by over the past twenty years by death squads. Some of these death squads have performed these murders at the direction of American companies.

Remember that giant sucking sound we heard after NAFTA and GAFTA were passed? Get ready to hear it big time again—this time three times as loud.  It won’t be American-made products that will be exported for sale to Central and South America, and to South Korea. It will be American jobs that will be exported. Just like in Mexico after NAFTA, low paying, non-union jobs will be created that will exploit impoverished workers in the three free trade agreement countries. Given these employment conditions, who in these countries would be able to afford American-made products anyway on a large enough scale for new jobs to be created inAmerica? No, what will happen is that a deluge of tariff-free, products made by cheap foreign labor will flood the American market place and sit on store shelves gathering dust because none of the 25 million unemployed people in this country will be able to afford to buy them, not even at Walmart prices.

And like NAFTA, none of these agreements provide for strictly-enforced environmental protection. Check out the extensive ground and water pollution in the maquiladoras districts in Mexico. This same devastation will happen inColombiaandSouth Korea.  Obama has never showed himself to be concerned with environmental protection and these trade agreements show that nothing has changed.

NAFTA displaced millions of Mexican workers who made their way illegally into theUSin search of jobs. Watch for a similar influx of Colombian workers into the US.  Panama is the Switzerland of Central America, home to secret offshore bank accounts opened by wealthy Americans and corporations as untraceable tax shelters. The new trade agreement will now make it even more impossible for the IRS to retrieve any information on these accounts—it’s explicitly written into the agreement. South Korea employs North Korean companies in manufacturing some of its products. So with the passage of theSouth Korea trade agreement, we will be supporting the North Korean economy as well.

Now, I contacted my congressman and both US senators—all Democrats–and told them to vote against these trade agreements. They didn’t listen to me, just like they didn’t listen to me when I told them to vote against the budget compromise bill which created the Super Committee.  Needless to say they’ve all lost my vote the next time they’re up for re-election.  So what if Republicans take their places?  The Democrats aren’t listening to me now so what difference will it make?  But with election fraud at its current state of the art, if the powers that be in my state want the Democrats to be returned to Congress, they will be without my vote. Unless the Republicans take control of vote counting, then their guys will get in despite how I vote. With Obama, I will still have to hold my nose and vote for the guy.  The damage to be caused if a Romney, Cain, or Perry are elected far outweigh the damage that will result from these trade agreements.

So what do we do now? The nationwide Occupy Wall Street actions are a start. But we’re going to need 3 million—10 million—20 million people in the streets and deluging Congress and the White House with demands for change–or else–to turn this country around and cancel all these trade agreements from NAFTA on.  Do we have that many people ready and willing to put it all on the line? Well, we have more than that unemployed and they’re not doing anything anyway except futilely looking for work. It just takes a little organization and a lot of anger and motivation.  It sure beats not working.

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