My father worked for a company that made freight railroad cars – the kind you see carrying cars and such. When I was in high school, he would come home and complain about "those blankety-blank labor unions and the price of steel." Lower steel prices were obviously critical in my Dad's view.
Fast forward many years. His daughter is at Uline's distribution center in Monterrey, Mexico, where business is booming. It seems to me that in the last two years, the pace at which global manufacturers have moved to Mexico has really accelerated. Approximately 3.5 million of the
17.5 million cars sold last year were made in Mexico; nearly 80% of those were shipped to
At best, Mexico pays $4 an hour and has thousands less government regulations than
This is complicated. The effects of globalization and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have not worked out so well. For example, employees in many small towns in the Midwest, the Carrier air conditioning plant in Indianapolis and textile plants in North Carolina have all been affected by many lost jobs.
We in the United States need to get somewhere between tariffs and free trade. Too many people lean one way or the other. It's not black and white; it's complicated.
The politicians are unable to stop tearing into one another. Could we appoint a commission to work on these issues? I've never liked "policy." But, it seems that in these times we need to have a trade policy that is fair, but much more mindful of the effects of globalization in the U.S.