Last Updated:November 25 @ 11:06 am

Schlafly: Lies About Trade Agreements

By Phyllis Schlafly

When will Republicans wake up to the way U.S. jobs are betrayed by Barack Obama and the corporate interests that hide under the moniker "free trade"? It's an embarrassment that Republican powers-that-be have joined with the Obama Democrats to push the new Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

We should have recognized free trade as bad news when Obama hammered on it in his State of the Union message. He probably looks upon it as another strategy to redistribute the wealth of our country, which is a major goal of his administration.

In 2012 when Congress was passing the Korea-U.S. Trade Agreement (KORUS), Obama predicted that it would create 70,000 U.S. jobs for Americans who would then pay taxes and not need food stamps. He even predicted, "soon, there will be new cars on the streets of Seoul imported from Detroit."

The bad effect was immediate. In the first year after KORUS took effect, the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea increased by $5.8 billion, costing 40,000 jobs, mostly in manufacturing, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

KORUS was really good in creating jobs in Korea but caused a big loss of American jobs. While the U.S. trade deficit with the world increased 21 percent, our trade deficit with Korea jumped 81 percent.

We're still waiting to see Detroit-made cars on the streets of Seoul. With that experience, it makes no sense for our trade negotiators to expand and imitate the KORUS model.

Remember NAFTA? The year before NAFTA, the U.S. ran a $1.6 billion trade surplus with Mexico. Last year, the U.S. ran a $64 billion deficit.

NAFTA was predicted to create 20,000 new U.S. jobs by increasing our exports to Mexico. That turned out to be another pipe dream; by 2010, NAFTA had eliminated 682,900 U.S. jobs, some in every state.

Business news sources have recently been predicting that U.S. manufacturing is on the verge of a large, permanent comeback because labor costs in China are rising and U.S. energy costs are dropping. Some writers became so excited that they dubbed the change "the insourcing boom."

Dream on. It isn't happening. Even after labor costs increase in China, there is no way they will rise enough to send U.S. plants back to the U.S. (Many will move to Vietnam.)

Trade agreements are supposed to be about increasing job-creating exports. They are not. They are about creating imports from low-wage countries that often cheat us coming and going.

Even our friend South Korea is into the cheating racket. In order to sell us some products even cheaper than those produced by their own low wages, South Korea arranged for some products to be manufactured over the border in North Korea, which means we are helping to finance North Korea to build its nuclear weapons to threaten us.

These trade agreements are supposed to be about promoting U.S. exports. Since we started going along with these free-trade agreements, imports have increased much faster than exports, creating jobs in other countries.

The U.S. has consistently run trade deficits with South Korea ($13 billion last year), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The deficit soared after the agreement took effect. Since 2000, the United States has lost almost a third (5.5 million) of its manufacturing jobs, according to the Congressional Research Service.

The evidence is so overwhelming that one wonders about the honesty of those who advocate more such trade deals. Do they really want American workers to be in competition with low-wage countries that don't respect any of our hard-fought employment rights and benefits, and work in conditions where the building can collapse at any time (as happened a few months ago, killing more than a thousand employees)?

The trade agreements are a violation of U.S. sovereignty and our Constitution. The sponsors of these trade agreements realize they are unwelcome to the American people.

Since they are treaties with foreign governments, they should be handled only in a procedure that requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Instead, their handlers are putting them through both Houses of Congress by a simple majority vote.

Fifty-thousand Americans gave their lives in the 1950s to keep South Korea free, and we've maintained an expensive border patrol ever since to protect the South Koreans against Communist North Korea, so South Korea doesn't have to pay for its own defense. We shouldn't give South Korea American jobs, too.


Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and author of 20 books. She is the co-author, with George Neumayr, of the New York Times Best-Seller titled "No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom." She can be contacted by e-mail at To find out more about Phyllis Schlafly and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Website at


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  1. wallybluComment by wallyblu
    July 24, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

    Since KORUS was so good for Korea why don’t we get our troops, that are defending Korea, out and have Korea send some troops to help defend our southern border?

    Just a thought.

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  2. thedoveComment by thedove
    July 24, 2013 @ 3:02 pm

    Apparently, re-distributing wealth among Americans isn’t enough; now we have to distribute it worldwide. Yeah, great idea.

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  3. lwessonComment by lwesson
    July 24, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    Follow the money. Always, follow the money.

    Republicans are on the Cash Cow Gravy Train, along with their counterparts, The Democrats. They are NOT going to wake up. Life is too good, fat & happy, to mess up the “Free” Trade Racket.

    Long ago, there was a time that our Representatives did things, took actions, that benefited The Republic, benefited We the People. Sad to say, those days are long dead and gone.

    Now, that does not mean that We the Sheeple will not be talked to about how this or that will be good for us. LIES are cheap and they are sadly most effective, thus the use of LIES. Repeat the lie many times to make it more effective.—Herr Goebbels

    When Ross Perot dared to run for President against the Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dumb political party picks, he was dead right on about the sucking sound of American Jobs going away per NAFTA. Those that benefit from such “Free” Trade Treaties were absolutely mortified that someone could even get to finger point at their swell racket much less threaten it. Bush the Elder or Clinton, what a pair to choose from! I knew Republicans & Democrats that had had enough and were in support of Perot.

    And it just gets worse. Mitt Romney in only one speech at the end of his campaign, dared to mention a desire of the rebirth of Major American Industry. Too late Mitts, the Rust Belt Fly Over People were not overly impressed. Mom & Pops jobs did not defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in 4 short years…

    It is NOT right that We the People MUST then be put into a position to have to compete with people living in concrete or sheet metal boxes, people who one can say are, moribund in a form of slavery. North Korea? Hello! Well done, our Overlords, well done!

    But it gets worse. We are then forced to offer up our children to fight in wars and have those children that survive, to come back and get in line for a tough interview for a job at Walmart… Yet, those who can pull the strings, the Power Players scream about the need for “competition”, waving Adam Smith’s book, The Wealth of Nations, around like Mao’s Little Red Book.

    No it gets much much worse. “Our” Government has turned into a right dandy kind of Police State Banana RepubliK, with a leader that is allowed to run and stay in office, and rule as if a King, and not a good King at that.



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  4. Scruffy-USN-RetiredComment by kerryp
    July 25, 2013 @ 4:51 am

    This downward spiral will continue until the democrats totally destroy and bankrupt the U.S.A. I predict that the U.S. will not survive another 50 years. We will self destruct. Today we have more people on food stamps than we have people working, 73% of all black babies are born to unwed mothers and 98% of them are on welfare and our president is doing everything he can to corrupt and bankrupt this country.

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  5. FreeDameComment by FreeDame
    July 26, 2013 @ 11:27 am

    The corporate and political “elite” (of BOTH parties) don’t give a rat’s behind about America, American small business or the American worker. Those Republicans in power (think Boehner, McCain) and even tea-party supported politicos (think Rubio) prove sooner or later that they are only in it for their pet projects and their personal gain.

    The system is broken beyond repair. Term limits (if it were possible to enact them, which it isn’t) would help, but our elected officials are so deeply in league with the corporate big-wigs that it is unlikely that any realistic solution exists.

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  6. KBBComment by KBB
    July 26, 2013 @ 5:21 pm

    They won’t wake up. The only solution is to track which Repubs vote for what, and get rid of them at the next ballot opportunity.

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