Even our friend South Korea is into the cheating racket. In order to sell us some products even cheaper than those produced by their own low wages, South Korea arranged for some products to be manufactured over the border in North Korea, which means we are helping to finance North Korea to build its nuclear weapons to threaten us.
These trade agreements are supposed to be about promoting U.S. exports. Since we started going along with these free-trade agreements, imports have increased much faster than exports, creating jobs in other countries.
The U.S. has consistently run trade deficits with South Korea ($13 billion last year), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The deficit soared after the agreement took effect. Since 2000, the United States has lost almost a third (5.5 million) of its manufacturing jobs, according to the Congressional Research Service.
The evidence is so overwhelming that one wonders about the honesty of those who advocate more such trade deals. Do they really want American workers to be in competition with low-wage countries that don't respect any of our hard-fought employment rights and benefits, and work in conditions where the building can collapse at any time (as happened a few months ago, killing more than a thousand employees)?
The trade agreements are a violation of U.S. sovereignty and our Constitution. The sponsors of these trade agreements realize they are unwelcome to the American people.
Since they are treaties with foreign governments, they should be handled only in a procedure that requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Instead, their handlers are putting them through both Houses of Congress by a simple majority vote.
Fifty-thousand Americans gave their lives in the 1950s to keep South Korea free, and we've maintained an expensive border patrol ever since to protect the South Koreans against Communist North Korea, so South Korea doesn't have to pay for its own defense. We shouldn't give South Korea American jobs, too.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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