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Rory McGuire, "NAFTA Is Not The Answer"

Rory McGuire writes:

"NAFTA Is Not The Answer"

Rory McGuire

The outsourcing of jobs is one of the most dangerous policies in United States economic history. Recently, jobs in the high-tech, manufacturing, and agricultural sectors have increasingly been shifted overseas; unfortunately, the United States cannot compete with these lower wages elsewhere in the world.

The ramifications of job outsourcing are clear — as wages in the United States must be lowered to compete, more people find themselves impoverished, there is less hope of climbing the economic and social ladder, and the nation suffers as a whole. The tax base of the nation is reduced, and wide-ranging effects spread to local schools, hospitals, emergency response, and other crucial departments in the form of inadequate funding. Many of these problems can be linked to the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, on January 1, 1994.NAFTA was signed under the premise that it would raise living standards in the United States, Canada, and Mexico and create hundreds of thousands of new and lucrative jobs in the United States. However, the results are examples of the loose regulation and lower local controls on the United States economy. The United States has lost three million manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was ratified, due in large part to financial windfalls for businesses outsourcing jobs to Mexico.
When NAFTA was ratified, it required each signing nation to conform its own domestic laws to new regulations in the agreement. That was the first step towards removing economic sovereignty from the United States and placing it in the hands of other nations and foreign investors. The dangerous relaxation of standards resulting from NAFTA include limits on meat inspection, increased medicinal costs, and local deregulation of environmentally harmful businesses. These provisions not only contradict the voice of voters and legislators, but they threaten the policy of promoting better living conditions in the United States.

Not only is NAFTA detrimental now, but it will directly harm future generations if its policies are continued. Currently, there is a strong push to expand the agreement to 31 other nations across Latin America and the Caribbean. NAFTA’s elimination is important to me because the economic strength of our future is in question. Our nation was built on the foundation of self-sustaining economic vitality. Prior to NAFTA, the government consistently did whatever necessary to keep jobs at home, through tariffs or incentives given to domestic companies. The economy and our jobs must be protected if our nation is to remain strong as a beacon of prosperity and stability. NAFTA is not the answer.