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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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August 09, 2007

Free Traders Trying Desperately to Compete

WisBusiness.com reports today,

Free Trade Stuff launches its website and a new line of free trade-related products today. The new company, formed by three recent University of Wisconsin alums, will focus on apparel in its initial stages. The company hopes to expand its line of products to cater to consumers tired of Fair Trade rhetoric.

The company’s first two t-shirt designs include a red shirt with the slogan “tariffs are for wussies” across the chest and a white shirt with a blue hand logo and the words “You’ve been slapped by The Invisible Hand,” a reference to the work of famous economist Adam Smith.

Unfortunately for this entrepreneurial business, in Wisconsin it will be hard to find a market for anti-fair trade products where during the NAFTA/WTO era almost 100,000 manufacturing jobs alone have been lost - and outsourcing continues to climb the skill ladder.

One might say that their business model is not very competitive at least in Wisconsin or perhaps in all of the United States where during the 2006 midterm election there was overwhelming support for fair trade policies and candidates, with 37 seats flipping from NAFTA-supporters to candidates who called for a new direction on American trade policy, including the election of one of the most outspoken members of the freshman class on this issue, Rep. Steve Kagen, a Democrat from Northern Wisconsin.

PS Looking at the website each shirt is $15! Looks like a massive ripoff to me, especially when they're willing to pay the lowest price for labor that they can find anywhere in the world!


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Todd Tucker

Dude, I totally want one of those "tariffs are for wussies" shirts... especially if we could change it to "patents are for wussies."

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