Goshen News, Goshen, IN

November 28, 2012

LETTER: That giant sucking sound, again

— Oh the outrage in Sunday’s editorial that Cequent’s management didn’t personally come to Goshen to explain their decision to move production to Mexico. Where’s the corresponding outrage at the other local companies who have had thousands of illegals employed over the years, thereby denying jobs to Americans and depressing area wages?

We’ve seen this story before with Johnson Controls fleeing to Mexico. Let’s put the blame where it belongs, NAFTA. The passage of NAFTA in 1994 was intended to eliminate trade barriers between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. By eliminating most tariffs, it fostered the growth in manufacturing in Mexico because of the reduced labor costs for companies relocating there. They also did not have to deal with all the cumbersome and costly governmental regulations for manufacturers in the U.S.  

An EPI briefing paper states that as of 2010, the trade deficits with Mexico totals $97.2 billion and has displaced a net 682,900 U.S. jobs. Prior to NAFTA, the U.S. had a $1.6 billion trade surplus with Mexico, supporting 29,400 jobs. Additionally, NAFTA made it attractive for companies all over the world to invest in Mexico to gain duty free access to the U.S. market. Of the 682,900 net displaced jobs, Indiana ranks second in the U.S. for these losses and the 3rd and 2nd and 6th congressional districts were hardest hit.

In Mexico, NAFTA was intended to generate a growing middle class but this has proven not to be so. The Mexican economy has failed in its promise to crate good quality jobs. Real salaries in Mexico remain below the levels of the early ’90s. NAFTA made Mexico a more attractive and safer location to invest and outsource U.S. manufacturing by eliminating many of the local regulations previously in place.

Remember Ross Perot? He was right.

— Bob Schrameyer