Let’s Rethink Free Trade

It just seems to me that Free Trade equals jobs being sucked from America. Period.

From Robert Reich:

On Friday, President Obama chose Nike headquarters in Oregon to deliver a defense of his proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership.

It was an odd choice of venue.

Nike isn’t the solution to the problem of stagnant wages in America. Nike is the problem.

It’s true that over the past two years Nike has added 2,000 good-paying professional jobs at its Oregon headquarters, fulfilling the requirements of a controversial tax break it wrangled from the state legislature. That’s good for Nike’s new design, research and marketing employees.

Just before the President spoke, Nike announced that if the Trans Pacific Partnership is enacted, Nike would “accelerate development of new advanced manufacturing methods and a domestic supply chain to support U.S. based manufacturing,” thereby creating as many as 10,000 more American jobs.

But that would still be only a tiny fraction of Nike’s global workforce. While Nike makes some shoe components in the United States, it hasn’t assembled shoes here since 1984.

Americans made only 1 percent of the value of Nike products that generated Nike’s $27.8 billion revenue last year. And Nike is moving ever more of its production abroad. Last year, a third of Nike’s remaining 13,922 American production workers were laid off. (more…)

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