What effects does free trade have on U S workers
Despite proponents of free trade claiming benefits in business, American workers however, in a 2004 survey by PIPA showed that only 25% of those surveyed in 1999 and 2004 has a positive impact that international trade has, revealing that 45-48% of those surveyed having a negative opinion regarding international trade on American workers (World Public Opinion.Org 1).
The United States having entered into numerous free trade agreements, it is important to determine whether indeed these agreements proved beneficial to the labor sector and increased employment opportunity of US workers. Hence, this paper aims to present an overview of the various free trade agreements entered into by the United States, the pertinent labor provisions contained in these free trade agreements, the pertinent statistics on the US employment rate in the US as a result of the FTAs and finally, the paper hopes to give a conclusion as to the overall effect of free trade to US workers.
United States was said to have entered into limited free trade agreements during the mid-1900s but entered into a comprehensive free trade agreement until late 1980s (Wade, 645). The United States entered into an agreement with Canada in 1854, called the Canadian-American Reciprocity Treaty which aimed to eliminate tariff on natural resource imports on the part of the US, such as wheat and timber (Wade, 645). On the other hand, Canada gave the Americans fishing rights off Canada’s east coast (Wallace, 228). Canada had a rapid economic growth, with the exports to the US growing by 33 percent as a result of the treaty (Wallace, 228). Exports of the US however, increased only by 7 percent, thus in 1866, US decided to end the treaty (Wallace, 228). Despite the result of such treaty, the US entered into another free trade agreement in January of 1989 with Canada, called Canadian-United States Free Trade Agreement (Vancouver Career College, 1). The agreement focused on gaining more access to the US economy, in