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Coos County and 20yrs of NAFTA

Coos County and 20yrs of NAFTA

With President Obama pressuring Congress to relinquish its constitutional authority over foreign trade agreements and its responsibility to represent all of us by allow the executive office to fast track the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) it is worth looking at the local impacts after 20 years of NAFTA. Signed amidst a lot of hype in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has failed to meet any of its promises. A new report “NAFTA at 20” details just what a colossal failure NAFTA has been.

More than 845,000 specific U.S. workers have been certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) as having lost their jobs due to imports from Canada and Mexico or the relocation of factories to those countries.
4 The TAA program is quite narrow, only covering a subset of the jobs lost at manufacturing facilities, and is difficult to qualify for. Thus, the NAFTA TAA numbers significantly undercount NAFTA job loss.

According to the US Dept of Labor, “Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) help trade-affected workers who have lost their jobs as a result of increased imports or shifts in production out of the United States. Certified individuals may be eligible to receive one or more program benefits and services depending on what is needed to return them to employment.” An interactive tool prepared by the Public Citizen, the Trade Adjustment Assistance Database allows you check “all TAA petitions certified or denied between January 1994 and July 2011.”

In Coos County an estimated 207 employees working for companies like Roseburg Forest Products have been certified for TAA having lost their jobs as a consequence of NAFTA.
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If you include the petitions denied from companies like Weyerhaeuser, Georgia Pacific and even Sause Bros, the number jobs lost to NAFTA rises to 969.
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The TPP is being characterized as “NAFTA on Steroids” by critics of the trade agreement and if NAFTA is any indication of what Coos County can expect if Obama signs the super secret TPP into law, everyone should be calling their federal representatives and insisting they not agree to fast track its implementation.

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About magix

Profile photo of magix When my oldest son, a Marine, left for war and crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq in March 2003 I started writing my conscience. After two tours that young combat veteran’s mother is now an ardent peace activist and advocate for social, environmental and economic justice. MGx has matured since those early vents and ramblings and now covers relevant and important local and regional matters in addition to national and global affairs.


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2 Responses to "Coos County and 20yrs of NAFTA"

  1. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-50 alignnone photo of Tony
    TonyCapo  January 9, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    NAFTA or: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb?

    We recently saw other US states competing to undermine Boeing workers in Washington State until the workers there capitulated for lower benefits. Corporations are multinational. For them it is no different, and just as easy, to move any part of production to another country as it is to another state. NAFTA has hurt the Mexican worker as well. It’s the current corporate way.

    I believe most people don’t think it is right or fair to extort workers by pitting them against each other in a race to the bottom. We would look at corporations very differently if we fostered a strong pubic policy of worker value and our interdependence, both here and abroad. We do have that value of interdependence within the public, but not with the policy makers and corporate power brokers. Having trade agreements that recognize and promote a fair interdependence seems like a logical choice to me, but public opinion in the United States has almost no impact on policy.

  2. wassup  January 4, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    Ross Perot was correct. We did hear a giant sucking sound.


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