As you may know, the House of Representatives recently passed three new NAFTA-style free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. I believe that these free trade agreements are bad deals for America's workers. They ship too many good paying jobs overseas, and limit economic growth by creating massive trade deficits. According to the Economic Policy Institute, nearly 700,000 American jobs have been lost as a direct result of NAFTA; and since its passage into law, the United States had gone from a $1.6 billion trade surplus to a $97 billion trade deficit with Mexico.
Data provided by the advocacy organization Public Citizen shows that in the 43rd Congressional District alone, we have lost over 2,000 jobs since the passage of NAFTA in 1993. If these three new trade agreements are signed into law -- America will undoubtedly continue to lose jobs to our foreign competitors. In fact, the trade agreement with Korea alone is estimated by Public Citizen to result in 159,000 American jobs being outsourced.
Most recent statistics from the Department of Labor show that the unemployment rate in San Bernardino County is currently at 14%, and families in the Inland Empire continue to face one of the highest rates of foreclosure in the nation. I understand that America's working families deserve better from their government and that we need to focus on new job creation policies that promote the values of the American worker. I strongly urge President Obama to veto any free trade agreement that reaches his desk.
I refuse to ship our jobs overseas to foreign countries that mistreat their workers and exploit children. I will continue to work in Congress to protect the livelihoods of America's workers by spurring job creation here on our soil and offering assistance to those in need.
JOE BACA, Congressman
43rd Congressional District