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Tariffs and Fair Trade: Left of Center View

I hate it when I have to agree with my friends on the right but in this case, our nation is being horribly raped and pillaged by the trade agreements we have entered into over the last several years. It seems as if each day you hear of a new recall being issued for goods from China and despite the number of jobs that have been created in Mexico to support our consumer needs, they still seem to be coming here to work because of the horrid conditions there.

I think the problem may not be free trade as much as fair trade between the U.S. and other nations. Our leaders struck up these agreements like NAFTA to create more trade opportunities but in the end the result was our unions being destroyed by the jobs being sent elsewhere and the once good paying jobs in America being replaced with Wal-Mart and McDonalds jobs. It seems that corporate America has run amok and our leaders have been wholly complicit in the amok running. While the jobs have gotten better overseas, theyíve gotten worse here. Maybe itís just me, but I would think that with the greatest minds in the world at their disposal, our leaders could work out contract language that brings equity into the process somewhere.

So why havenít the leaders done anything to balance thee scales a bit? Well, frankly, they canít. They were so gung-ho on signing the damned agreements they didnít stop to look at the fine print that says they have to treat foreign goods the same as domestic goods. Who cares if the goods are made in sweatshops with lead paint and toxic chemicals in them? Itís ok because they have this little piece of paper that says their goods are just as good and safe as ours. Who cares that they donít have anything resembling the EPA or FDA over there when it comes to monitoring the goods they make? NAFTA and WTO papers are all in order so the goods must be safe. No tariffs to cover the costs of undoing the damage, no closer inspections, just business as usual.

The real kicker in this is that because of their loose regulations, they can undercut basically every American company for the same goods and use the market forces that made Americaís economy strong to destroy Americaís economy. No equity, no additional revenue for the country, nobody wins but the shady manufacturers and the rich people importing and selling the goods at enormous profits. The American worker gets the shaft, the rich get richerÖand the beat goes on.


LJ Finstermore - World Citizen | E-mail Comments on this column.

Got a liberal viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Cultural Migration

Send in your view from the Left to be our featured Left of Center View for the week.

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Last Week's View from the Left: Open Borders and the American Worker

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
ICE Raids Detain Thousands of Innocent People
Political Activism and Illegal Immigration
Integrating Other Cultures Into the American Dream
Employing Undocumented Workers
Bilingual Education
The Minutemen
Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants
Open Borders
Sanctuary Cities
Common Sense Laws
Rise & Fall
Outsourcing & Insourcing
English
Amnesty vs. Reality
Defining Immigration





Tariffs, Safety and Fair Trade: Right of Center View

With all of the trade agreements the US has entered into with countries around the world, you would think that we should be getting good deals on quality products. We worked out standards and equitable compensations for all right?

Not really. With virtually every trade agreement entered into in the last two decades, we have relaxed restrictions on foreign goods and increased our trade deficit with our partners. In their infinite wisdom, our leaders decided that allowing our jobs to be outsourced and our consumer products to be manufactured in substandard conditions with little or no safety standards for the workers or the goods would be good for America.

The result of these agreements and things like bringing China into the WTO is that our products are less safe and our workers less able to find employment. So you would think in light of this we would begin to look at the products coming from other countries a little more closely right? Nope. We canít. Under the agreements we signed, we cannot treat their goods any differently than American goods when it comes to inspections. The other countries could actually sue us for trying to protect ourselves from dangerous products because we would be looking at their goods closer than our own.

So in light of that limitation we look at tariffs as a solution. We can always make it more expensive to import their goods to price them out of the market right? Nope. The wise and powerful lobbyists made sure that our trade agreements limit tariffs as well. We cannot do much of anything until the agreements expire.

Well, actually, our government canít do anything. We the People can. We can stop buying goods from countries that send us dangerous imports. If it says Made in China, put it back on the shelf and find something made here. For the most part, the things made in China are not daily necessities. They make a lot of toys and electronics and things that are cool to have but not necessary to have. (Although, checking your toothpaste is a good idea because they do make a lot of that.) The same goes for other countries that are taking our jobs and sending us poorly made goods. If they canít meet our standards for safety then we should not buy their goods. Apparently we canít rely on our leaders to protect us from dangerous goods so itís time we protect ourselves. Read the labels, buy American and you will be doing what our leaders have failed to do.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Visit Troy's blog at http://reform-america.blogspot.com | Visit Troy's MySpace page at www.myspace.com/reform_america

Got a conservative viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Cultural Migration

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Right: Open Border Trucking Policies

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
Unions Defending Illegal Aliens
Political Activism and Illegal Immigration
Integrating Other Cultures Into the American Dream
Employing Undocumented Workers
Bilingual Education
The Minutemen
Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants
Open Borders
Sanctuary Cities
Let's Get It Right This Time
Once Again Congress Fails
American Jobs
English Also vs. English Only
Amnesty
Defining Immigration

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally ďThe RaceĒ in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isnít really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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