Alan Guebert: Farm and Food: Free trade, free lunch


As we evaluate the prospect of the Trans Pacific Partnership, the performance of our past trade agreements must be examined. Has our U.S. trade policy been working to the advantage of our nation? When policies work, we should continue them. When policies do not work, we should re-examine, re-think, and modify them.

Alan Guebert uses the data generated by Dr. Daryll Ray and Harwood Shaffer at the University of Tennessee to examine the real world track record of past free trade agreements. That approach is what everyone should be doing, not just repeating free trade ideology.

How do you ignore the fact that since 1994, the U.S. has not achieved one “break even” year of balance of trade? Or, the cumulative balance of trade deficit since 1994 is now over $9 trillion? Last year, our balance of trade was $508 billion, approximately 3% of our nation’s GNP. If our balance of trade was even, our economy would be expanding at twice the rate it is now. After all, if exports increase jobs, imports likewise cost jobs.

Alan’s article below is worth reading, and re-reading. Trade policy dominates our domestic economic policy. Our nation cannot prosper if it continues to give away our nation’s manufacturing and economic base.

All the best,

John K. Hansen, President

Nebraska Farmers Union

1305 Plum Street, Lincoln, NE 68502

(402)476-8815 Office (402)476-8859 Fax

(402)476-8608 Home (402)580-8815 Cell

John Office

Lincoln Journal Star

February 7, 2016

Farm and Food: Free trade, free lunch


We in agriculture talk about free trade agreements as if they are the international equivalent of a free lunch. All we need is a trade deal, we preach, and a full belly — easy profit