California hardest hit by NAFTA-generated job losses

It turns out Ross Perot had not fallen off his rocker when he, as a 1992 3rd party presidential candidate, predicted that signing NAFTA would lead to the loss of American jobs to trade partners amid a “giant sucking sound.”

 

An Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report says that California leads the nation in job-loss due to the treaty signed by former president Bill Clinton. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), in combination with the Great Recession, has resulted in 692,900 lost jobs nationwide as well as a $97.2 billion trade deficit with Mexico says a report released Monday by the Washington D.C. based think tank. About 16 percent of those jobs are likely “economy-wide job losses because they were displaced between 2007 and 2010, when the U.S. labor market was severely depressed,” says the study.

 

As the report notes, proponents of NAFTA thought that the treaty would lead to growing trade surpluses with Mexico and the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs here at home. In reality, just the opposite is true.

 

     “The evidence shows that the predicted surpluses in the wake of NAFTA’s enactment in 1993 did not materialize,” the report says. It adds, “Contrary to official predictions, NAFTA led to growing U.S. trade deficits with Canada and Mexico, not trade surpluses.”

 

According to the EPI study, California has been the state hardest hit by job losses to Mexico. Almost 87,000 jobs in the state have headed south of the border. Next in line are Texas with 55,600, Michigan with 43,600 and Ohio with its 34,900 lost jobs.

 

The report also warns that a similar trade agreement currently being negotiated between the U.S. and South Korea will lead to more U.S. job losses.  Perhaps a new Ross Perot will emerge in 2012 to sound the alarm bells.