Outsourcing corporate entities would have us believe that changing or modifying free trade agreements to effect a more level playing field for American workers is – gasp – unAmerican. What those corporate powers don’t want you to know is the depth to which our workers are truly affected.
Last year, Japan and Honda sold 3 million cars in America while Ford and GM sold only 10,000 in Japan. Why? Japan imposes mark-ups, restrictions, and obstacles on American imports. A $25,000 American car carries a prohibitive $50,000 price tag once it is put on display in Japan. No one in Japan calls it protectionism, but that is what it is. A rose is a rose is a rose.
Yet, when this type of disparity is highlighted by American workers and supporters of retooling free trade agreements, corporate powers immediately use scare tactics to browbeat the American worker and consumer by screaming protectionism.
Since 2000, 3 million manufacturing jobs have left our country. A refreshing change would be a law requiring Japanese car makers to sell the same number of cars in the U.S. that they import into their country. It would limit Japan to 5.5 percent of the U.S market. The void left by cutting Japanese car imports could be filled by American manufactured cars.
What a concept – treating the American worker fairly by insisting that the rules of the game be the same for all. Fair trade – not free trade – is the only way to protect our workers and ensure that they can compete in a world dominated by cheap labor and nonexistent environmental protections of foreign lands.