Free Trade Facts
What is Free Trade ?
For the last twenty years, “free” trade — an ideology that focuses on maximizing trade, minimizing regulations, and strengthening protections for investors — has wreaked havoc on people and the planet. Learn more about impacts of recent “free” trade agreements.
How Free Trade Policy Impact Washington State?
Manufacturing Jobs Lost in Washington State
Jobs Lost due to the Rising Trade Deficit With Mexico
How Free Trade Impacts the Whole World?
Why Should I Care?
- Mexican farmers unable to compete with cheaper American
corn lose their land and migrate to cities to find work in maquilladoras
(sweatshops) or to the US and WA State as farm workers
- 65,193 workers were certified under Trade Adjustment Assistance
1994-2011 as directly losing their job because of US trade policy (US DoL statistics).
positions associated with these jobs such as drivers, suppliers and
small businesses do not qualify and are not counted.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): 1994
- Negotiated to open trade between the Canada, the United States and Mexico
- WA State lost 28,309 manufacturing jobs from 1994-2011, 9.4% of the sector (Bureau of Labor statistics)
- 65,193 workers were certified under Trade Adjustment Assistance 1994-2011 as directly losing their job because of US trade policy. (US DoL statistics) Jobs associated with these jobs such as drivers, suppliers, small businesses do not qualify and so are not counted.
- 10,800 jobs have been lost in WA because of the rising trade deficit with Mexico (Economic Policy Institute)
- Agricultural trade surpluses in wheat, dairy and fruits decline and turn into trade deficits
- Mexican farmers unable to compete with cheaper American corn lose their land and migrate to cities to find work in maquilladoras (sweatshops) or to the US and WA State as farm workers
Andean Trade Preference Act: Enacted in 1991, amended in 2002
- The United States agreed to subsidize asparagus as a substitution crop for Coca in the Andes
- The United States lowered importation tariffs, which encouraged Washington State asparagus businesses like Green Giant and Del Monte to leave the state and set up factory farms in the Andes
- Washington lost more than half of its asparagus industry, and the jobs on factory farms in Peru do not respect to human rights, fair work practices or the environment
- Cheap asparagus is shipped back to Washington State to compete with more expensive asparagus grown closer to home
Colombia, Panama, S. Korea Free Trade Agreements, 2011
- At least 60,000 jobs are at risk in WA State in motor vehicles and parts, other transportation equipment, electronic equipment, metal products and textiles and apparel
- IT and Green jobs sector are also at risk for outsourcing and pitting foreign and domestic workers against each other for less secure contracting jobs.