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Fixing trade will bring jobs back

Want jobs? Fix trade.

We’ve been hearing a lot from elected officials on their ideas for job creation. Some talk about investing in infrastructure, some talk about green jobs, others talk about increasing loans to small businesses.

All of these are great ideas that deserve our attention, but they won’t amount to much in reality if our nation’s trade policies continue to work double-time against American workers.

According to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute, since China’s entry into the World Trade Organization 10 years ago, Minnesota has lost almost 60,000 manufacturing jobs due to off-shoring, outsourcing and displacement because of imports. That number puts our state at No. 6 nationwide, Minnesota is tops in the country for a lot of things, but job loss is one category we should be fighting to stay out of.

Trade is a good thing and we need more of it. But it needs to be done in a way that helps, not harms.

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Changing the way we do trade is not only achievable, but it is absolutely necessary if we want to bring good jobs with good wages back to our communities in Minnesota and around the country. I ask Congressman Tim Walz and the rest of Minnesota’s congressional delegation to say no to the pending U.S. free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

Laura Askelin

President, SE MN Area Labor Council AFL-CIO

Rochester

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