For decades, the consensus in public policy circles was that free trade was a good thing, as it allowed U.S. companies to sell more products abroad. But far too little attention was paid to the consequences at home. Opening up trade led to the loss of millions of good-paying jobs, the closure of tens of thousands of American factories, and contributed to widening income inequality.
Part of the problem is that many countries don’t play by the same rules that American workers and companies do. China’s government heavily subsidizes its companies; many, in fact, are state-owned or controlled, which means they can price their goods far below fair market value. Meanwhile, U.S. companies and workers face far tougher labor and environmental laws than competitors abroad.
American manufacturers can compete with anyone on the planet, but not when the game is rigged. The United States also should only enter into trade agreements when there are enforceable measures to ensure fairness across the board. The playing field should always be level.
Millions of jobs have been lost and more than 63,000 factories have shuttered since 2000 due to unfair foreign trade.
It’s Time to Level the Playing Field
Unfair foreign trade hurts American workers and businesses. It is essential that Washington works to guarantee that U.S. manufacturers can fairly compete at home and abroad.
2014 Summary of AAM National Poll
Findings From A National Survey And Focus Groups Of Likely 2014 Voters
Let’s Create 5.8 Million Jobs
Ending currency manipulation is key for manufacturing job creation.
Enforce Trade Laws, Save American Jobs
It's the last line of defense for American manufacturers and workers.