A Creighton University economist says most economists “disagree emphatically” with politicians promoting anti-trade policies. Ernie Goss singles out what presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are saying about the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“I hear this: ‘Look what NAFTA did to us.’ No, look what NAFTA did for us. It really boosted the U.S. economy,” Goss says. “It’s perfectly nonsense to listen to them.”
Goss says criticism of the Trans Pacific Partnership is confounding as well.
“It should be passed,” Goss says, “not just for Iowa, not just for Nebraska and Kansas and South Dakota, but for the nation. It’s a heck of a good thing and everybody’s bashing it and that seems to get you votes.”
Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have called NAFTA “a disaster” and both vow to drastically change U.S. trade policy if they become president. Goss says politicians who bash expanded trade should be “un-elected.”
Labor groups oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership, warning more U.S. countries will outsource manufacturing and service industry jobs to countries like Vietnam — where the minimum wage is 28 cents an hour. Iowa State University economist Dave Swenson says trade deals do have an impact on labor. He calls them “trade offs.”
“How many jobs, good jobs have we been able to maintain in the United States?” Swenson asks. “Because some of the jobs that were repetitive, didn’t pay that well or weren’t going to pay that well in a competitive market, we did move some of that labor out of the United States, but some of the higher valued assembly labor, some of the higher valued more technical labor we were able to maintain.”
Swenson points to the U.S. auto industry as an example. Swenson and Goss made their comments today during taping of the “Iowa Press” program that airs tonight on Iowa Public Television.