Oct
28
2011

NYT: Trade Deals Are Big Job Creators

A New York Times story today (10/28/11) by Jennifer Steinhauer on the state of bipartisanship in Washington noted: Outside of a few recent flashes of light–the passage of three trade bills this month, and an agreement on patent reform–there have been no big bipartisan jobs initiatives in this Congress. The idea that trade deals with Colombia and South Korea are "big" job creators is not a fact–it's an argument that proponents of the deals make. But a corporate media that gives a thumbs-up to anything labeled "free trade" are going to be just as eager to call these deals job […]

Oct
13
2011

Bait-and-Switch Boosterism on Trade Pacts

Corporate media's incredibly uncritical boosterism of so-called "free trade" deals has been remarked on many times, and continues to be remarkable. What else but blind faith would allow a story to carry a line like one in the October 12 New York Times, about textile industry opposition to the new deal with South Korea: "The production of shirts and sheets has shifted steadily from the United States to countries with lower-cost labor. Economists argue that this process strengthens the economy as companies and workers shift to more productive and lucrative kinds of work." Of course, if the Times has evidence […]

Aug
26
2011

Corporations Want to Create Jobs (and Other Myths)

New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer takes a look (8/26/11) at U.S. trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that are currently languishing in Congress. The piece calls them "free-trade" agreements, which is generally misleading: Trade deals usually involve complicated horse-trade negotiations regarding tariffs, patent protection and the like–meaning they make trade in some ways less free. But more important are the other assumptions in the piece: The three free-trade agreements, which originated with the Bush administration, would eliminate tariffs on cross-border transactions, expanding exports of American goods by about $12 billion a year, according to estimates by the […]