Removing trade barriers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 21, 1999

between nations brings

job loss to south Alabama

Published Sept. 21, 1999

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There seems to be little doubt that free trade agreements have contributed to the significant loss of Alabama businesses and industries.

That said, there is some evidence that there is a little bit of a tradeoff involved in lower product prices in order to save the consumer dollars.

Still, it is difficult to see that there are any cost benefits to the North American Free Trade Agreement, and after what we have seen here in Pike County, there is little doubt as to the negative side of free trade.

Our legislation has worked hard to combat the loss of jobs in Alabama resulting from NAFTA and other agreements that make it cheaper for companies to move south of the border to have access to a cheap workforce and less stringent manufacturing laws.

Now, Congress is considering another agreement that would apply free trade standards to countries in the Caribbean. Legislation has also passed the House of Representatives that would apply those standards to Africa as well.

The exportation of American jobs is ludicrous and has tremendously hurt the economy in rural areas where manufacturing jobs were once abundant. Pike County is feeling the kick now.

Our legislators realize this and are fighting for us, but their power is limited. Write them and let them know how you feel so they can share your information with their colleagues. Otherwise, the silent majority may fall victim to job loss.