Will Ohio Buy McCain’s “Straight Talk”?

Very interesting.  John McCain is peddling free trade to Ohio.  Yes, that Ohio, the same Ohio that has a penchant for blaming free trade for the fact that, you know, they’ve lost so many jobs.

Now there’s a lot to be said for telling people something they may not necessarily want to hear, but there’s a difference between selling hard truths, and selling snake oil.  McCain’s promise that free trade will solve everyone’s problems is a little more of the latter than it is the former.

Trade is good, don’t get me wrong.  Trade creates more consumers, and makes incoming goods cheaper to buy, but free trade is more like a monster off its leash.  Sure, the incoming goods may be a little cheaper, but the workforce outside the US is also cheaper as well.

That’s why it’s such a big issue to industrial regions where manufacturing jobs are a staple of localized economies.  Because under true free trade agreements, corporations will find it cheaper to “ship jobs overseas.”  This because other countries have lower pay standards for its workers, fewer prohibitive building codes, and cheaper land upon which to build warehouses and plants on.

In many free trade agreements, what you are doing is now forcing American laborers to compete at a disadvantage with foreign laborers.

When confronting McCain on the status of trade agreements, the focus needs to be on establishing a system of fair trade vice free trade.  Of making sure that trade agreements come equipped with a set of standards that ensure our workers aren’t being forced to compete unfairly with out of country locales.

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