America's robust economy allowed us to be a nation that valued fairness and opportunity. Our economy outperformed the world for decades behind a wall of protective tariffs. The heartbreaking collapse of our manufacturing base resulted from the trade deals that lifted those tariffs in the past few decades.
Given today's dismal job outlook, you would think America would be trying to withdraw from NAFTA, CAFTA, and the other trade deals that gave workers the SHAFTA. You would be wrong. Incredible as it may seem, Congress will actually consider three job-killing trade deals in the next few months -- with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.
This is yet another case of members of Congress representing the corporations that own them, not the American people.
One congressman who does represent us is Rep. George Miller of California (a good friend of the Teamsters. Today he spoke against the proposed deal with Colombia:
The American worker can compete, but you can’t compete against the Colombian army, the Colombian death squads, the Chinese army – that’s not fair competition. But that’s what is protected in these trade agreements.Here's a link to a group that's fighting the deal with Colombia: http://www.usleap.org/colombiamurderandimpunity/toolkit
Tragically, Colombia stands out as a country where wages are kept low and workers are repressed through widespread violence and other human rights violations.
Colombia has earned the reputation as the most dangerous country on Earth for workers trying to build a better life.