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.


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!


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

  1. Bill Wine says:

    Yes Ross Perot was 100% right. And the mainstream media, and people from both ends of the political spectrum like Rush Limbaugh and Bill Clinton said he was crazy. Yet people still worship the AM radio Oxycontin king and Bill Clinton is hailed as a political ‘rock star’. Meanwhile Perot was made the butt of late night jokes. Strange when the people that walked us into oblivion are praised and promoted, while the one person that tried to stand against the treason has been banished. Simon and Garfunkel used to sing ” Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you – woo woo woo ” – A better fit for today would be ” Where have you gone H Ross Perot, our dying nation should’ve elected you – boo hoo hoo “

  2. pappyvet says:

    Another good one Gaius. These agreements are what they have been pushing for.. The U.S. could have another worker’s movement but basically so what. The entire planet needs defending from greed.
    It’s safe to say that NAFTA destroyed the middleclass and sucked the money upstairs.

  3. pappyvet says:

    FREE trade….when it comes to working people getting as close to that as possible is exactly what they want.

  4. Bill_Perdue says:

    I think the best approach is to be brutally realistic about the current situation and still be ready when things break in our direction.

  5. Whitewitch says:

    Thanks Bill…I enjoyed reading about EV Debs and might even be re-inspired!!!

  6. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s a protest vote. Socialist EV Debs ran for president in the 1920 election while in prison at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for anti-war activity. He
    received 919,799 write-in votes.

  7. nhf7170 says:

    Wouldn’t the sucking sound be coming from the West?

  8. Whitewitch says:

    I don’t think Chelsea Manning can serve…isn’t she in Federal Prison…I might vote for myself.

  9. Bill_Perdue says:

    Don’t vote for either. Voting for a Republican would be just as bad as voting for a Democrat.

    There are alternatives, even in this banana republic.

    On Tuesday, the 4th of November, 2014 and on Tuesday, the 8th of November, 2016 you can vote socialist, write in Chelsea Manning or just sit it out as a protest vote.

  10. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s more than a little ironic that Democrats have suddenly discovered ‘wage inequality’ and at the same time are joining with Republicans to increase poverty, unemployment, and homelessness. .
    They created the current economic crisis, which is about to deepen, considerably. And TPP will hasten that event. Democrats and Republicans combined to gut welfare, entitlements (programs workers have already paid for and are entitled to like Social Security and Medicare), Medicaid, housing aid (Section Eight) and a host of other programs from unemployment benefits to food stamps. Clinton, the most effective Republican president since Nixon, gutted welfare (2) and hired a couple of hundred thousand new cops in case there was ‘trouble’. Both parties wanted to end welfare but it was a Democrat who finally did it.

    And it was Democrats who led the fight to destroy unions beginning with Carter who went after and severely damaged communications and transportation unions. Reagan followed suit and upped the ante by destroying the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization or PATCO.

    They jointly supported the deregulation bills of 1999 and 2000. First was the Republican Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act, the most sweeping deregulation bill in history, which repealed the Depression era Glass Steagall Act. Clintons signature on that and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, which deregulated over-the-counter derivatives (3), unleashed predatory lenders who caused the housing boom which went bust and created the Clinton Depression (4).

    Bush and Obama built on that by busting unions, making sweetheart deals with banksters and attacking Social Security and Medicare.

    Income inequality, which can more accurately be termed class war, is a Democrat and Republican initiative and it’s effects are criminal. They’ve cause untold damage and hardship to working people, ruining our health and wellbeing, forcing millions into poverty and homelessness and at the same time betraying plans for a better medical care system.

    They’ve had their way for the last 35-40 years and now workers are fighting back. Right now millions of workers in fast food and big box workers are fighting – getting fired, getting arrested, and clamoring – to get union contracts, and much of that is self organized because the union bureaucrats, mostly Democrat hacks, are terrified by the prospect of millions of new workers used to fighting for themselves.

    The way to end it is to promote unions by organizing the unorganized, building workers parties and then creating a workers state.


  11. B00ZED says:

    I volunteered with Howard Dean’s Meetup organization. I agree, the press railroaded him over the “pro rassler rant”. I believe he would have been a good president and was very disappointed he bowed out.

  12. Whitewitch says:

    I personally think that is why they ran the nutters they ran last election and finally settled on Romney…they knew he could not win and they did not want him to win. They were having too too much fun torturing President Obama and blaming everything on the Dems. Just a theory though – no evidence.

  13. lynchie says:

    It has been convenient for the right to block everything and take more and more from the poor and elderly. I agree let them have power, house, senate and WH and run the country totally into the ground maybe then the 99% will realize they don’t give a shit for the rest of us. They can blame O’highness and there is enough blame to be laid at his door but put them all in charge and watch them take responsibility for everything they do.

  14. karmanot says:

    Howard Dean handed Obozo a presidency and they stabbed him in the back.

  15. Whitewitch says:

    It is true ronbo and very very sad. I have given up really…although I might sign a petition here or there…they only care about us when they want our money.

  16. Whitewitch says:

    Great shot! I do mean I will vote for the Craziest of the Crazies…that way the world will see how bad it is here….let the Republicans ruin America on their watch.

  17. Houndentenor says:

    I think a better example is what the media did to Howard Dean. He was at a rally and got a little excited. He didn’t say or do anything remotely embarrassing. Perhaps it wasn’t the most suave moment in a presidential campaign but it was nothing. The clip was played over and over again as if he were some sort of nutjob. He’s not. You can disagree with his ideas (such debates ought to always be welcome anyway) but they went for character assassination because he dared say things that went against the corporatist agenda. We don’t have liberal media. We have corporate media. And I say that as someone not that far to the left. They are just embarrassingly bad at reporting actual news. It’s not news; it’s infotainment. They drop everything and chase down the minutiae of one story in spite of having 24/7/365 airtime. And even then they get the story wrong a good amount of the time.

    Most of all, they are so short on facts. Whether or not Sarah Palin is crazy is a matter of opinion. Whether or not the things she claims are facts are actually true is not. Fact checking would fix a lot of what’s wrong in our politics but that means leaving the briefing room and doing your own work rather than relying on the staffer you’re fucking who feeds you the information he wants you to publicize. Our media are a national embarrassment and I don’t think anything is going to fix that because the infotainment sells. People tune in for the latest on talentless celebrities and tune out when serious news is discussed.

  18. lynchie says:

    Yes I have read your other posts I always do and I agree with you. I was trying to take a shot at a little humor at Hillary’s expense. I agree since I see little difference between Dem and Repub.

  19. Indigo says:

    That’s exactly what’s happening.

  20. Whitewitch says:

    Lynchie…perhaps you have not seen my other posts. I will NOT vote for Mrs. Clinton in 2016. I have no idea if she has any principles – she may well – however they are not the same as my principles…and I will vote for the Bat-Shit Craziest Republican running before I will vote for her.

  21. lynchie says:

    Just a thought but do you think Hillary has any principles. More important is she a woman

  22. lynchie says:

    that is why you get the elect Clinton horseshit, the lesser of two evils, stop the GOP. It hardly matters who is elected because they all lie through their teeth and when in office do what they have been paid to do….screw the masses

  23. ronbo says:

    My benefit of the doubt also goes out to women. HOWEVER, the pecking order for most politicians – especially those who are themselves millionaires (nearly half Congress at this point) is…
    Lobbyists (there are good ones… which is why they drop below Millionaires)
    Party infrastructure (not members)

    Way, way down at the bottom are the persons who actually vote. Which explains why polls show that citizen priorities are almost the exact opposite of legislation. Politicians know that money buys votes.

  24. lynchie says:

    they already do that. Having the Presidency is no biggie. They are controlling state elections and the election of the house and senate. The judges are all biased Thomas, alito, roberts, Scalia are all in the pocket of the 1%

  25. Whitewitch says:

    I know Nicho…I just hate when women fail….being one I always hope we are better at standing on our principles.

  26. nicho says:

    You sent her money, but corporations and lobbyists handed her more. It’s The System. Until we get corporate/lobbyist money out of politics, nothing will change.

  27. Whitewitch says:

    Have not signed a petition in the last 4 years that has made a whit of difference…have made a phone call or send an email to my representatives that didn’t get a generated response with information in it totally irrelevant to my protest. We have lost the battle my friend – we must now wait to see the outcome of the war.

  28. cole3244 says:

    in 2016 assuming clinton 2 is one of the choices we will continue the slide into third world nation status and the 1% will be even more wealthy and powerful, then the koch’s of the world can buy and sell elections (and judges) at their will, not a pretty picture but an accurate one.

  29. Whitewitch says:

    And I sent her money…darn…another man/woman down.

  30. nicho says:

    The problem is that Perot was a little bit nutty but also right about a lot of things

    First, anyone who runs for president and subjects themselves to the character assassination is a little bit nutty.

    Second, one problem with the US these days is that there is an official narrative. As long as you stay within the bounds of the narrative, you can say anything you want. You can say the emperor’s cloak is pretty and argue with the people who say it’s ugly. However, if you point out that the emperor is naked, you are depicted as “A little bit nutty.” Or even a lot nutty. On just about every issue, there is a narrative. you are advised to stay within the lines — or you’re out of the discussion altogether.

    Third, and case in point, Sarah Palin is crazier than a shithouse rat, as are most of the people running for prez on the GOP side. The media never seems to bring themselves to point that out.

  31. Indigo says:

    Impoverishing the American middle class is a long-term project but also essental to the restoration of feudalism. Our masters know what they are doing and why. Revolution is the sensible answer to resolving this conundrum but . . . we’re comfortable for now so . . . Don’t rock the boat is the password to conformity. And here we are, I doubt that it’ll get better.

  32. Terry Cooper says:

    The “nonsense” is put into place as a means to distract and divide us. If you notice the so-called disagreements are for the most part very narrow, primarily social issues. For instance, where I live, there are many people who are totally focused on abortion, gun rights, and not letting immigrants in. Everything else seems to go right by them without notice at all.

  33. Houndentenor says:

    What we’ve seen in the last few years is that there’s no interest by the 1% to make things better for anyone but themselves. These are not your grandfather’s CEOs who realized that without a middle class and strong working class there’s no economic growth. There’s no point in giving the rich another tax cut. They’ll just put the money in an offshore account. if they were going to invest their money in the US economy, they’d be doing it with the billions in cash they are sitting on already. Another trade agreement? Who wants this except for CEOs? Meanwhile the right and left (who should both be against this) are busy fighting over nonesense like birth certificates and too distracted to get together to fight the NSA and crap like this treaty.

  34. Houndentenor says:

    The problem is that Perot was a little bit nutty but also right about a lot of things. Note that Clinton took up some of his platform and worked to rein in the deficit spending (through minor cuts and tax increases) and the economy boomed as a result. This is what happens in third party movements. Perot was probably not the best spokesman, but none of the better ones had the money to finance a campaign and would have been ignored. It’s not that the media is biased so much as they are lazy. They’d love if 2016 was Hilary vs Christie because they already know both of them and won’t have to go out and do any actual reporting. They can just sit on their overpaid asses as speculate (about things they almost always get wrong).

  35. Terry Cooper says:

    We do not have to take this shit lying down. See Move To Amend, and Popular Get involved. The 1% are cowards who rely only on their money and have zero loyalty to this country or any thought to anyone besides themselves and their spawn. However, they are not quite ready to make totally known that we have become a fascist government. They know that when our people become fully aware of that,, they (the1%) will have to use those security agents they al have now, or they will have to use our own military against us.

  36. ronbo says:

    If you don’t think TPP is going to easilyt pass, please read what Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill MO (202-224-6154) wrote…

    Thank you for contacting me regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement. I appreciate hearing from you, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

    As you know, the TPP is a still-developing trade partnership intended to eliminate barriers to trade between the United States and countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Negotiations to set the terms of the TPP began in 2009, and are ongoing. The trade agreement will address a wide range of topics, including market access, competitiveness, labor agreements, government procurement, environmental standards, and intellectual property rights. Once an agreement on terms of the TPP is finalized, it will be submitted to Congress for approval.

    As a group, the ten other TPP countries are the U.S.’s 3rd largest goods export market and 4th largest services export market. If successful, the TPP has the potential to be the largest trade pact in our country’s history. I remain hopeful that an agreement will be reached that will provide Missouri’s businesses and farmers with better access to foreign markets.

    I have taken action to ensure that the terms of this still-developing agreement are favorable to Missourians. Consequently, I am disappointed that Japan will soon join the TPP negotiations. While Japan is an important ally to the U.S., this nation also has a history of setting unfair trade policies to exclude foreign competitors from its markets, especially in the automobile and manufacturing sectors. In March of this year, I joined many of my colleagues in Congress in writing to President Obama to express my concerns, and I have attached our letter for your review.

    As you may know, I will not hesitate to vote against a trade agreement that will hurt Missouri’s workers, businesses, or economy. For example, in 2007 and 2011, I voted against free trade agreements with Peru and Colombia out of concern that their terms were not favorable for Missouri businesses. I have also supported fair trade agreements with more favorable conditions, such as arrangements with Panama and South Korea.

    You may also be interested to know that I have frequently testified on behalf of Missouri businesses before the International Trade Commission regarding unfair trade practices by foreign-owned businesses. I have also pursued legislative action in regards to many of these same practices. For instance, in 2011, I introduced the FAIR Enforcement Against Duty Evasion Act (S. 1581) to counter “dumping,” or flooding of the market with artificially cheap products, by Chinese manufacturers. This bill, if enacted, would create new tools for law enforcement to find and prosecute law-breaking businesses as well as collect tariffs owed to the U.S. Although this bill was not considered before the expiration of the 112th Congress, I continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure that our trade laws are fair and properly enforced.

    Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.

    Claire McCaskill
    United States Senator

  37. Terry Cooper says:

    Recently, I was reading some excerpts from books that were written regarding Barry Seals, Iran Contra, and Mena, Arkansas. Perot and his run for election was mentioned in one of the excerpts. It was said that he ran for office because he knew George HW Bush was dirty and while he was running he was consulting with Clinton, apparently, not being aware that Clinton was of the same stripe as Bush, but under a different name. In other words, the 1% and or CIA had all possibilities of who would be elected covered during that campaign except Ross Perot. All sides of the aisle are dirty, and only presented to us as means to keep us stupidly believing that we still have some say-so in our government.

  38. nicho says:

    But Ross Perot was crazy. The corporatist media told us so. And we got the corporatist Bill&Hill, Inc., which promptly sold us downriver.

  39. The_Fixer says:

    If reasonable people were in charge in the U.S., we’d have not even thought about the TPP, considering our experience with NAFTA. Perhaps that’s why the damn thing is so secret.

    But reasonable people are not in charge, the greedy ones are. I think that this would be, on its face, unconstitutional. Aside from public policy being conducted in secret, Congress is responsible for writing our laws, not some foreign entity. And you’d think that a constitutional lawyer who is President would know that.

    Ah, the sour smell of a corrupt government run by commercial enterprises. Indeed, it does smell worse than a two-hole outhouse on a hot August day.

    I have other, more colorful phrases that I could use to describe this atrocity, but I will spare the readers here.

  40. caphillprof says:

    Here we go again. It’s like suicide in slow motion. Anything to help the 0.1%. Nothing for the 99%.

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