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  • Eyes on Trade is a blog by the staff of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch (GTW) division. GTW aims to promote democracy by challenging corporate globalization, arguing that the current globalization model is neither a random inevitability nor "free trade." Eyes on Trade is a space for interested parties to share information about globalization and trade issues, and in particular for us to share our watchdogging insights with you! GTW director Lori Wallach's initial post explains it all.

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March 29, 2007

Portland's brush with bad trade policies

Oregon Public Broadcasting did a featured story on the first hand the affects of failed trade policies. In Portland, Oregon, 800 union employees of the Freightliner plant will lose their jobs on Friday. Meanwhile, Freightliner announces the construction of a $300 million plant in northern Mexico. OPB does a great job of connecting the closing with the more-of-the-same trade policies that have sent thousands of jobs overseas.

Click here for the full story:

[Machinist] Anthony Smith: "It seems like there are a lot of jobs that seem to be leaving. As soon as you get a decent job with a decent wage it goes somewhere else but, I guess that's just the way it is."

It seems to have been 'the way it is' for the last 15 years -- as one trade agreement after another has been passed -- and hundreds of thousands of jobs have left the U.S.

Up until recently, most economists maintained that agreements like NAFTA enrich the U.S. economy. But a growing number are now saying that the downside may be deeper than believed.

Former Federal Reserve Board vice chairman, Alan Blinder, now estimates 30 million jobs could be shipped out of the country in the next couple of decades. And not just manufacturing jobs -- any job that can easily be moved -- like that of a computer programmer, an accountant, graphic designer or film editor.

There is a rally on April 4th outside of the Portland Federal Building at noon to oppose Fast Track and the loss of Oregon jobs organized by the Oregon Fair Trade Coalition.

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