TPP trade agreement: Ross Perot on the “giant sucking sound from the East”

As some of you may remember, 1992 Presidential candidate Ross Perot created the phrase “giant sucking sound” to refer to loss of U.S. jobs under the proposed NAFTA agreement:

The “giant sucking sound” was United States Presidential candidate Ross Perot‘s colorful phrase for what he believed would be the negative effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he opposed. … The phrase, coined during the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign, referred to the sound of U.S. jobs heading south for Mexico should the proposedfree-trade agreement go into effect.

Perot ultimately lost the election, and the winner, Bill Clinton, supported NAFTA, which went into effect on January 1, 1994.

TPP_perot

Wrong as he may have been on other things, Perot was right about that — NAFTA sucked jobs and trade dollars from the U.S. (my paragraphing):

Both of Perot’s opponents (George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton) argued that NAFTA would create jobs in the U.S. because of business expansion. However, the goods balance of trade for the U.S. with Mexico has been negative and steadily growing over the years.  In 2010 it amounted to $61.6 billion, which was 9.5% of the total goods trade deficit last year.

So Perot has been vindicated in his opinion; expanded free trade has not been accompanied by an increase in jobs in the U.S. relative to the vast numbers of jobs created in the rest of the world as NAFTA became just a stepping stone on the pathway to global commerce.

Here’s a more recent chart (from the same source quoted above) of jobs exported each year. The steepest export rate is during the Clinton administration, and the slowdown is the global jobs slump.

Year-by-year job loss in the U.S. since NAFTA

Year-by-year U.S. job loss as “trade deficit equivalents” since NAFTA (source)

The chart shows “manufacturing jobs lost each year starting with 1992 that are equivalent to the U.S. goods trade deficits over the past 19 years.” Notice that the chart never shows a below-zero number, even in the worst of the slump.

The new “sucking sound” from the east

With that as context, here’s a fun video put together by the writer and humorist Spocko, of Spocko’s Brain. Enjoy:

Every word a true one. For what to do, go here. We need to stop “Fast Track” approval. If you want to sign a petition to stop Fast Track, CREDO has one just for you. Please click and sign; and thanks!

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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