Free Trade Push Becoming Bane Of American Workers, Economy

The White House's free trade efforts, including forging deals across the Atlantic and Pacific, are doing little to help the American worker and our nation's domestic economy as a whole. If anything, the Obama administration exacerbating things by not taking on its trade partners' less-than-transparent behavior, especially on the monetary front.


In theory, free trade should create prosperity for all. But, as with most ideas, the devil's in the details. Without universal buy-in and equal compliance by all involved, the effectiveness of such deals is severely compromised, especially when partners try to cheat the system through currency manipulation, notes a University of Maryland professor in a Fox News opinion piece.

"On university blackboards where economists theorize, free trade is a compelling idealet each nation do more of what it does best, and international commerce will raise national productivity and incomes. But these benefits are not guaranteed if a few big nations can cheat on the rules," writes Peter Morici, an economist at UM's Smith School of Business.

Currency deflation by China and Japan without an adequate U.S. response has helped drive our nation's trade deficit further downward, with "ruinous consequences" for American workers. In addition, southern Europe's economic problems have compelled investors to shift their monies into U.S. stocks and treasuries, bringing the euro's value versus the dollar down and increasing Germany's exports.

"The administration continues to negotiate trade pacts that open U.S. markets to foreign competition but lack specific rules and penalties to address currency manipulation. Until an American president is willing to ensure free trade in goods is matched by free trade in currencies, the U.S. economy will endure anemic growth and workers will suffer high unemployment and low wages," Morici concludes.

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