Mr. President, Bring Jobs Back Home

Tom W. Pauken,

Were I to have a moment with President Obama as he visits El Paso and Austin this week, my message would be simple: Bring jobs home to America.

The citizens of El Paso could be especially instructive in this regard. They’re first-hand witnesses to the jobless “recovery” as well as the almost total collapse of manufacturing that’s taken place in our nation over the last decade. As home to the border port with the largest amount of Mexican-American trade, El Paso is at the crossroads of a trade deficit that is the direct result of a flood of manufacturing jobs that have left America for other countries.

A story appearing in Tuesday’s El Paso Times states that in the first two months of this year, Mexico has imported $1.1 billion more into America than America has exported into Mexico. Over the course of a year, that adds up to a $6.6 billion trade deficit with our neighbor to the south. Compounding the problem, according to the article in the El Paso Times, is that even though U.S. exports to Mexico have increased over the last two years, there has been almost no accompanying increase in new jobs in the U.S. Meanwhile, Mexico enjoys a 16 percent….

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The 20-year Sellout of the American Worker

Tom Gibson,

Most nations try to avoid running trade deficits because those that do lose jobs.

Why, then, for the last 20 years has the United States run a persistent, growing deficit that has destroyed more than 9 million jobs?

The story begins when President Bill Clinton, promising expanding markets and more jobs, pushed our country into the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1992 and the World Trade Organization in 1995.

After that, the power to make decisions on trade and employment began to shift dramatically to the multinational companies and to our political leaders in Washington whose influence they were able to buy.

The primary interest of the multinationals is in the success of their own enterprises rather than that of a particular country, even their host country.

So because NAFTA and the WTO abolished U.S. trade laws and tariffs that had been put in place over the years to insure we didn’t import more than we exported, the multinationals were free to begin their long and steady effort to move their manufacturing to the countries with the lowest wages.

The great “sucking” sound, predicted by Ross Perot in his attack on NAFTA during the 1992 presidential campaign, began to be heard across our country as factories were abandoned and jobs sucked out….

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How to Bring Manufacturing Jobs Back to the U.S.

Tom W. Pauken,

A front page story in Sunday’s Des Moines Register addresses the closing of the Electrolux plant in Webster City and the loss of 850 manufacturing jobs which will be moved to Juarez, Mexico. As the article points out, “the four counties in the Webster City area…have experienced a 32.1% drop in manufacturing jobs” since 2000. That mirrors what’s taken place across the U.S. which has lost one-third of its manufacturing jobs during the same period of time. That’s more than 5.6 million good American jobs that have been shipped overseas, outsourced, or simply gone away.

In the words of the late German economist Kurt Richebacher, “Essentially all (U.S.) jobs losses are high-wage manufacturing, and most gains are in low-wage services. In essence the U.S. economy is restructuring downward, while the Chinese economy is restructuring upward.”

This hollowing out of our manufacturing base also results in the United States running massive trade deficits with our trading competitors. We currently have trade deficits with 90 nations. In fact, our manufacturing trade deficit from 2000 to 2008 was $5.4 trillion.

A major cause for this decline is that the United States has the most onerous business tax system in the world….

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