Republicans in Congress should reconsider their support of free trade. It’s sure to become a hot topic again, as President Obama is demanding “fast track” authority to ram through trade deals that he makes behind closed doors. Fast track is a bad idea because it gives the President too much power to make free trade agreements that are harmful to American workers. Over the years, business interests have said that free trade treaties will produce more jobs. They do produce more jobs, but in foreign countries, NOT in the United States. Imports always increase faster and jobs are created in places like Communist China, and South Korea where labor is so much cheaper.
Americans realize that free trade, like immigration, squeezes the U.S. working class. The Pew Research Poll found that only one in five Americans believes that “trade creates jobs.” In fact, half of Americans say that free trade destroys jobs, and 45% recognize that more free trade means lower wages. Republicans would be foolish to advance free trade when the facts and public opinion stand against it. Working-class voters were crucial to handing Republicans a majority in the Senate and increased numbers in the House. If the new GOP Congress neglects the concerns of these voters on issues such as free trade and immigration, it will badly damage Republican chances for victory in 2016.
Unfortunately, the globalists, the Chamber of Commerce, and wealthy donors have the ears of many members of Congress. Corporations benefit from cheap foreign labor and are not concerned about its harmful effect on everyday Americans. If Congressmen listen to them, they might get a few warm newspaper editorials and some big-dollar donations, but they will be throwing away the chance to represent millions of middle-class Americans who voted last November.
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The Moral Liberal recommends: Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman’s Crusade (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America)
Contributing Editor, Phyllis Schlafly, is the Founder and President of Eagle Forum, a national radio show host, and a best-selling author.
Used with the permission of Eagle Forum.