Letter: We Need ‘Fair’ Trade Agreements

How is it that these United States involves itself in trade agreements which appear to only serve special interests?

The truth of the matter is, that past “free trade” agreement NAFTA, while rewarding American businesses with tax credits for each job sent overseas, has done nothing to stimulate our industry at home and is actually displacing American workers at home.

The great sucking sound you here are more American jobs going overseas to cheap labor in the third world and developing nations, while American labor, semiskilled and unskilled, find themselves victims of such displacement, and now drawing unemployment insurance, and in some cases permanently “laid off,” facing welfare as their only solution. All the while, critics of American labor complain that these victims of government decision, these fellow Americans, “just don’t want to work.”

We need to create a level playing field, not one where American workers compete with 39 countries that pay only $2/day to foreign workers.

I submit to you that if the current TPP or Trans Pacific Partnership was a “fair trade bill,” then it wouldn’t require a second bill called the TAA, an assistance bill for American workers displaced by the TPP. We need a “fair trade bill,” which opens manufacturing at home, and not one where our “partners” establish tariffs of 30 percent on American goods going into foreign countries that can’t compete with foreign goods coming into these United States tariff free.

Richard Nielsen, Royal Palm Beach