Eng 100 Fri 9-12
Cause and Effect
Why Free Trade Isn’t Free
Free Trade is an idea of a global economy in which all participating countries would benefit from not having any tariffs or laws regulating trade. Karl Marx said this of Free Trade, “Free Trade. Is one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation”. In theory it sounds like a great way to balance out wealth around the world, but there’s a catch. Countries with more wealth have to sacrifice jobs, wages and safety to bring the poorer countries up economically. While at the same time corporation within these richer countries become more powerful at the expense of their fellow citizens.
Free Trade in the United States has been going on for centuries with limitations but only for the last 27 years has it continued unimpeded globally. Since the beginning of global free trade the United States has gone from the world’s largest creditor to its largest debtor. Our country is trillions of dollars in debt, constantly being bailed out by Free Trade buddies overseas so they can continue to profit from us. The only people in America, who are making money, and a lot of it, are the global corporations who continue to ship hundreds of thousands of jobs oversea every year to cut cost. This often comes at the cost of the environment or foreign workers safety. Most of the countries that corporations out-source to don’t adhere to some of or all of the EPA or FDA standards. The products are exported then and consumed within the United States.
The employees overseas often don’t work in safe conditions and work long shifts without breaks. The average Nike sweatshop employee makes sixty-eight cents an hour and works seventy to ninety hours a week. These employees work and live...