Your July editorial -- "Editor's Page -- Globalization, Freer Trade and Labor," July 2005 -- struck a chord with me. One need only to drive through the small towns and cities of South Carolina to see the economic devastation wrought by free trade. Communities that once thrived due to the textile mills now are virtual ghost towns. Workers who once held stable jobs with decent wages find themselves unemployed with few options beyond that of a Wal-Mart greeter. I am frustrated by the seeming disconnect between Washington politicians and real America. Opening our doors to free trade and rampant illegal immigration has caused tremendous harm. Wake up Washington!
Melanie Lux, president
Lux + Associates Inc., Columbia, S.C.
CAFTA and the Doha Round face challenges because they are the newest efforts in a failed policy. The standard rebuttals used by the supporters of free trade face increasing resistance and delays because our employees face stagnated wages and benefits. [We] don't need better rebuttals. We all need a better trade policy.
John J. Baker, president
The Diamond Tool & Die Co., Dayton, Ohio
Taken from the article: "Supporters of current trade policy claim freer trade will lift millions of people in developing countries out of poverty while creating many more jobs in the U.S. Further, they say that those new jobs will be the higher-paying, higher value-added jobs."
I find this statement hard to believe. Just ask the people who have lost their good paying manufacturing jobs to overseas companies. The proponents need to cite examples/statistics that show these people are better off now than before they lost their jobs. Bet they can't do it.
Gordon Newman, sales manager
Ellwood Texas Forge, Houston
The problem with "Free Trade" is that it doesn't exist. The U.S. is being hurt because other countries are not using the same definition of Free Trade.
This comes through China having winked at all the software, video and merchandise knock-offs, Japan having quality issues with U.S. based oranges, the unequal government subsidies all nations use for business, etc.
If our "partners" are not on the same level playing field, we should not attempt to play on the same field either. The result is jobs moving to other countries. It is very complex, but the U.S. is not addressing the issues strongly enough.
company name withheld