Obama ‘Free Trade’ Treaty Speeds Race to the Bottom

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News, analysis and commentary from the black left.

 

Obama ‘Free Trade’ Treaty Speeds Race to the Bottom

The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty that the Obama administration is trying to ram through Congress would force American workers to compete with “countries like Vietnam, where the minimum wage is 35 cents and hour, or Peru, where it’s $1.25 an hour,” said Kevin Zeese, an organizer with Popular Resistance. “Even China won’t be able to compete with those kinds of wages, and so we’ll see a continued race to the bottom,” worldwide. “Free trade,” said Zeese, is “a marketing term. What this really is, is rigged trade for the top transnational corporations.”

 

Americans Becoming Too Poor for Wal-Mart

“Wal-Mart is a kind of bellwether for the status and well being of the American working class,” said Dr. Nelson Lichtenstein, director of the Center for Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at the University of California, at Santa Barbara. The giant retailer’s sales are off, party because of competition from even cheaper “dollar” stores. “They serve the bottom of the bottom of the working class, and they’re doing fine because people are so poor” under this economy. “What we really need to do,” said Lichtenstein, “is raise the general wage level of the entire service economy – we’re talking about 50, 60, 70 million people.”

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