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Most of America’s corporate, political, and media cognoscenti are street-preaching proselytizers of the holy virtues of NAFTA-style trade deals. “Believe!” they shout, with the fervor of corporatized Elmer Gantries.
But the people (damn them) are not buying the hokum, because… well, because it’s hokum. Most Americans have felt (or at least seen) the destructive impact of these trade scams – thousands of factories closed and millions of jobs gone south. They now consider NAFTA to be a five-letter profanity. Last year, the Angus Reid polling firm found that only one in four Americans thinks that NAFTA has benefitted workers, and more than half of those polled believe the trade deal is so bad that the U.S. should either “renegotiate” or simply “leave” NAFTA.
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Likewise, just before 2010’s volatile congressional elections, an NBC-Wall Street Journal poll showed that 69 percent of voters believed that “free trade agreements… cost the U.S. jobs,” and even 61 percent of self-identified tea party adherents shared that opinion. A whopping 86 percent said corporate outsourcing of our jobs to low-wage countries was the top cause of America’s economic woes. In an especially interesting finding, the link between trade and outsourcing was one issue on which people of different classes, occupations, and political views all agreed.
On the other hand, polls also show that the public now sees the deceit in the cognoscenti’s constant claim that Americans believe in “free trade.” Well, yes, people can support the theory of free trade, but they’ve learned from experience that trade theory is far different than the reality of the deals hung around our necks.
While the cognoscenti insist that the U.S. should “continue to be a member ” of NAFTA – that sermon gets an amen from only 15 percent of Americans. No more NAFTAs!
“U.S. Polling shows NAFTA-style Trade Deals Becoming Even More Unpopular,” Citizen.org, 2012.
“Americans Shift to More Positive View of Foreign Trade,” www.gallup.com, February 28, 2013.