Well, I don't think America will ever willingly create the North American Union or at least not in this life but Free Trade is one of my newest enemies. I'm 22 years old and I've studied economics and business intricately but never considered the possibility that free trade was leading our country into economic decline. I never studied free trade but only read about it in that intelligent yet insane 'Communist Manifesto' and knew all the Corporate-Neo-Con republicans endorsed it. So I pretty much thought it may be bad policy but it couldn't be that bad if the politicians agree with it. It has to be at least about greed, right? That's right, it is about greed but this greed as you know isn't American Greed where at least much of the wealth from innovation contributes to the Middle Class. It's plain corporate greed which brings me to believe that Free Trade was mandated by politicians through corporate lobbying and is another example of a big decisions and/or change in policy that was done without the consent of the people. The Principle of Free Trade in practice goes against the nation's welfare so completely, that it's almost shocking how such a thing ever began in the 19th century. It basically separates the company from the nation and in doing that not only makes the company not obligated to it or attracted and influenced to/by it, but it forces American Companies to do business almost anywhere else in the Goddamn World. Now you have goods coming into the country under their own standard of currency which means they are by far cheaper and will be well-recieved if their quality is equal. If I understand this, this will in-turn force the American companies out of the domestic market because it cannot compete with that price unless of course it outsources jobs. So it's a lose lose situation unless of course you're the consumer but you won't be if all the industry leaves to chase the proletariat. This would leave nothing for trickledown and all America would be a bunch of retail stores. It seems apparant to me that is where we are now. Example: The Economy is supposebly doing well yet the NYPA is concearned about filling the office space when the World Trade Center is rebuilt. So my question is if manufacturing jobs are gone and we're not counting retail and odd-jobs, where the hell are the newer employed working? This is part of some of the statistics I'd love to get my hands on but I don't know if they exist and wouldn't know where to begin to look. Concluding, Free Trade is good if you're a consumer looking to save a buck but what good is it if you're a consumer who's unemployed?
Free trade screws other nations more than us. Our corporations get rich. We become specialized in high-paying, low-labor jobs (giving us a couple educational hurdles to jump, but in the long run... we win). While other nations receive the benefits of investment, they are trapped as specialists in raw resource extraction and cheap labor. The only way for them to get any better is to revolt and kick out the MNCs... which eventually they will.
I think a more fair version of free trade is ultimately better for the world... but nothing is worse for the US or the world than old-fashioned protectionism.