Pushed off a “free trade” cliff


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IF YOU WORK–OR WORKED–IN MANUFACTURING in the USA, you may already be living the message of the chart above. According to a report from Working America on overseas outsourcing, “[US] manufacturing employment collapsed from a high of 19.5 million workers in June 1979 to 11.5 million workers in December 2009,a drop of 8 million workers over 30 years.” The departure of those 8 million jobs has had devastating effects not only on those workers and their families but also on their communities.

HISTORICAL NOTE: China was admitted to the World Trade Organization in December 2001. Now check out that especially steep slide between 2000 and 2005–it represents 3 million disappeared jobs. According to a 2015 report by Robert Scott, a trade expert at the Economic Policy Institute, the increase in the US trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2011 has eliminated more than 2.7 million American manufacturing jobs.

But what about those American jobs created as the result of increased trade with China? (According to Robert Scott, there have been a few.) Turns out those pay far less than the jobs that were shipped overseas.

Meanwhile, both Republican and Democratic Party elites have continued to embrace the “free trade” agenda of the giant multi-nationals. No wonder people are rebelling!

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*Number of manufacturing jobs, in millions

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