Friday, May 29, 2015
Why Do Americans Like Free Trade Agreements ?
President Obama is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with Pacific nations -- the Trans-pacific Partnership (TPP). I think this is a bad deal for Americans, especially American workers. Just like other free trade agreements (NAFTA, CAFTA, etc.), this agreement will encourage the offshoring of U.S. jobs and result in a further downward pressure on worker wages in the United States.
And it seems that a significant number of Americans agree with me about jobs and wages 9see the charts above). All of the charts on this page were made from a new survey by the Pew Research Center. They questioned a random national sample of 2,002 adults between May12th and 18th (and the survey had a margin of error of 2.5 points). Note that 46% said free trade agreements costs this country jobs, while only 28% said they create jobs. And a similar 46% said they result in lower wages for U.S. workers, while only 33% said they raise wages.
Looking at those results, one might think that most Americans would oppose free trade agreements (including the TPP), but that would be wrong. As the chart below shows, 58% of Americans believe free trade agreements have been good for the country. How could this be? The bottom chart gives us a clue. It seems that a plurality of Americans say free trade agreements lower the price of goods.
Personally, I find that to be sad -- and very troubling. A lot of Americans seem to be willing to throw American workers under to bus to save a few pennies on the things they buy. In my opinion, this is backwards. We should be willing to pay a few pennies more to keep good jobs in this country (and help American workers make a decent wage).