Reform Party Renews Support for Trade Reform

Fair trade, not free trade. By Keith Tucker -

Fair trade, not free trade. By Keith Tucker –

The Reform Party National Committee has made its annual renewal of support for Fair Trade. The Reform Party of Virginia agrees.

Since its founding, the Reform Party has fought to level the playing field for the American industrial sector, labor and communities built on factory jobs. It wishes to do so by creating common sense trade protections that support the American economy.

According to the Reform Party, the recent free trade agreement with Korea shows the effects of free trade with Pacific Nations. Two years after the United States signed a free trade agreement with the nation of Korea, America’s trade deficit with Korea has doubled.

In 1992, the Ross Perot campaign (a direct precursor to the Reform Party) campaigned against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

According to government statistics, since the early 1990s, America’s trade deficits have increased due to free trade in other regions. The same data shows that since the start of free trade agreements with NAFTA in 1992, America’s trade deficit rose from 39.2 billion dollars to 559.8 billion in 2011, or an increase of over 1428 percent.

Before the start of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), the United States had trade surpluses with most nations involved. Now the United States has trade deficits with all of the nations involved in that treaty, with the exception of Panama.

Since the United States trade deficit started in 1975, the number of Americans employed in the manufacturing sector has decreased. Since the 1970s, the number of Americans employed in the manufacturing sector has dropped from twenty five percent of the population to ten percent in 2010. As these manufacturing jobs were outsourced overseas, many found work in the service industry, which pays less, and the American dream was put out of reach for many.

Some argue that the decline in manufacturing in the United States is a necessary byproduct of global competition, and that the United States should always support the philosophy of global free enterprise. We believe that the United States should first support the American people. Ours is a government that should be of, by, and for the people.

In fact, when we encourage a diverse and strong American economy, the world prospers. Conversely, the belief that we need to sacrifice the jobs and welfare of millions of our fellow Americans at the altar of cheaper products is the belief of a corporate statist, not a democrat. It is the belief of a global citizen, not an American citizen. It places the profits and interest of the few, against the greater needs and value of our Republic. It place a few interest groups above the will and needs of the people. As a people, we cannot accept these policies, or this approach.

We believe our position is reflected in the rising, national wave against our poor trade policies. When people are educated on the issues of trade, a majority support the Reform Party. Currently, according to a Gallup poll, 50% of Americans support “higher import taxes on Chinese products coming into the U.S.” But Congress refuses to act. Many millions support reviewing our trade policies, such as NAFTA. And millions more oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership. And yet, Congress and President Obama are still moving forward.

Today, the Reform Party and the Reform Party of Virginia calls on Congress to stop outsourcing American production, and create trade policies that help American manufacturing grow. Furthermore the Reform Party calls on Congress and the President of the United States to end the negotiations for the Transpacific Partnership.