Economic Snapshot | Trade and Globalization

Fast Track to Lost Jobs: Free Trade Agreements Are Bad Deals for Working Americans

President Obama is currently negotiating two massive new free trade agreements that, if enacted, are likely to result in increased outsourcing and growing job losses, especially in the manufacturing sector. He has asked Congress for “Fast Track” authority, which would allow him to submit trade agreements to Congress without giving members of Congress the opportunity to amend the deal. Experience has shown that these trade deals have resulted in massive job losses for American workers, as shown in the infographic below. Fast track trade legislation will speed the ratification of more job-destroying trade deals.

Free trade agreements have
hurt american workers

Claims that trade deals increase exports and create jobs are based on flawed trade models, and on distorted and one-sided interpretations of the findings of those models.

The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS)

70,000 jobs promised

Click to see what happened

______ jobs delivered

60,000 jobs lost

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

200,000 jobs promised

Click to see what happened

______ jobs delivered

682,900 jobs lost

As the infographic shows, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) resulted in growing U.S.-Mexico trade deficits that caused nearly 700,000 lost U.S. jobs between 1993 and 2010.

Likewise, in the first two years the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) took effect, U.S. exports to Korea declined, and growing trade deficits with that country resulted in nearly 60,000 lost U.S. jobs.

See related work on NAFTA | China trade | Trade and Globalization | Manufacturing

See more work by Robert E. Scott