How NAFTA, WTO and TPP Turned an American Dream into a Nightmare
After DNC announced Hillary Clinton as the official Presidential Candidate from the Democratic Party, rumors emerged that she may possibly change her opinion about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that Obama was pushing for before leaving the Office. However, given Clintons’ history with Free Trade Agreements like North-American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed by her husband, I find it highly unlikely that she would have common sense to abolish the TPP. If you remember the consequences of accepting NAFTA and entering the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the American workers, TPP would be much worse: it’s NAFTA on steroids!
Although democratic majority in Congress first opposed NAFTA, after Democrat Bill Clinton was elected as President of the United States, he “surrounded himself with economic advisers from Wall Street, and in his first year pushed the approval of NAFTA through the Congress.” According to the same source, as a result of this free trade agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, millions of American workers lost their high-paying manufacturing jobs or experiences major pay cuts over the last 20 years, millions of Mexican workers working in agricultural and small business sectors have lost their jobs and were forced to flee to the U.S. in search for better life, thus increasing the influx of undocumented workers into the U.S. labor marker, allowing U.S. employers to lower wages for American workers as well. American middle class was pretty much destroyed by NAFTA and WTO agreements, and the American manufacturing jobs were moved to Mexico and China, stripping American workers just in the past decade off an estimated one hundred billion dollars. In fact, NAFTA alone is responsible for the loss of at least 1,000,000 good paying U.S. jobs, mostly in manufacturing while at the same time wages continue to be driven down. Huffington Post called Bill Clinton as the “Outsourcer-in-Chief”, stating that “the biggest beneficiaries of his administration were Wall Street, Chinese factory owners and U.S. banks and the biggest losers were blue collar workers.”
When I think of how badly Bill Clinton’s decisions have affected my family and friends, I cannot imagine allowing his wife to put the last nail into the “coffin” of our “American Dream” that is turning into a nightmare. My father, for example, have worked for three manufacturing companies in the last 20 years that eventually went bankrupt, were bought up and then outsourced, laying American workers off. His pretty modest wages haven’t really increased over these years, and sometimes he even endured pay cuts or was forced to work only 4 days a week. My mother, who got into programming jobs about 18 years ago, was lucky to remain at her job till now, though he salary remains on the lower end, when compared with people in the same position and with the same experience. Her company was also bought up by an Australian firm who keeps outsourcing IT jobs and even attempted to close the office that my mom is working at. In fact, IT jobs, although still popular, have experienced wage freeze in the past 8-10 years or so because of massive outsourcing to India and opening up many Indian consulting services who provide Indian work immigrants to American companies at a much lower rate. In fact, I know many people who studied to be programmers back in 2000s, but were later forced to abandon working in IT area because they couldn’t compete with hundreds of thousands of Indian programmers who were imported into the U.S. on H1B visas due to Clintons’ shady agreements with Indian administration and the mob (I know about the existence of Clintons’ business associations with Indian business mafia from one former wife of one Indian version of a “Godfather”).
As for myself, I have also gone through two layoffs and one firing since 2001, and the last time I lost a good paying job was because I was replaced by a lower-paid Indian immigrant who couldn’t even do the job I was doing unless I sat next to her and showed her every step. I had to train her and document everything right before I lost my job after working for that company for 10 years, receiving a termination letter with a bogus reason of “not answering emails on time.” Now you know why I cannot be completely impartial when it comes to NAFTA, WTO, TPP or any other free trade agreements or outsourcing laws…
I truly believe that the reason why high-skilled jobs are being taken away from American citizens is not because Americans are more stupid than highly educated Indians, Japanese, Russian, Ukrainian or Chinese immigrants (although, American school system is highly inadequate, to say the least), but because of the tax laws and wage differences that allow companies to save more money if they employ non-Americans. This has to change, and fast, or else American people will never be able to pay up their debts, causing the eventual collapse of our inflated economy that will trigger the whole world order to collapse. For many years, people from many countries have been coming to America in search for a better life and pursuit of their own “American Dream”, but think about this for a moment: when we can no longer find a job in the U.S. that would keep our families above the poverty level, where would we be going to get a good job? Will there be any countries left? If Russia ends up getting away from dollar-based trading and creates their own gold-based currency, I don’t see any other choice but for all Americans to start learning Russian, and fast! You could try learning Chinese, of course, but I heard it’s much more difficult to learn. On a serious note, though, I really don’t know how long can this sham of the free market capitalism go on for until it crashes and burns us all…
Remember when Hillary Clinton decided to continue with her husband’s economic policies and support both Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific Partnership agreements that are being lobbied by the Obama administration despite numerous protests from American trade unions and middle and lower class workers and environmental activists? For now, the pressure from the left wing of the Democratic Party forced Hillary Clinton to switch her position from support to opposition to the free trade agreements, but if the former First Lady is going to be elected as U.S. President this November, there’s no telling as to what she will decide then. Because she was sponsored by Wall Street and big corporations, she will most likely take her sponsors’ orders and do everything in her power to promote the interests of transnational corporations at the expense of American workers. An average American worker cannot possibly compete with the slave wages in China. Our cost of living is just too high… Also, because the Chinese cleverly manipulate their currency to give subsidized Chinese products price advantages in foreign markets, there would be really nothing any of us could do to fix this situation that our lawmakers have put us through. Only a new U.S. President who would be bold enough to challenge the “status quo” and change the policies of former Presidents to protect American workers and their livelihoods can possibly save this country from its imminent self-destruction, and it’s definitely not Hillary Clinton!
Author: Emily Ford