There’s a scary fact you may have missed if you didn’t see Washington Post columnist Harold Meyerson’s piece from last month on Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. He points out that most of the Obama administration, Capitol Hill and corporate backers of the TPP studiously avoid the job-killing track record of previous trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement. They are, he says, ignoring the facts.
By now, even the most ossified right-wing economists concede that globalization has played a major role in the loss of American manufacturing jobs and, more broadly, the stagnation of U.S. wages and incomes.
But here’s the scary part. Want to guess how many U.S. jobs are vulnerable to export? More than you think and far, far, far more than Fast Track apologists will admit.
Former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder has calculated that 22% to 29% of all U.S. jobs could potentially be offshored. That’s a lot of jobs: 25% would translate to 36 million workers whose wages are in competition with those in largely lower-income nations. Of the 11 nations with which the United States is negotiating the TPP, nine have wage levels significantly lower than ours.
Do you think that might boost the “economic inequality” Obama has vowed to combat?