Job Protection and Free Trade

Archive Report

Revival of Protectionism

Conflict Between Free Trade and Jobs

Americans are buying imported goods in greater quantities and dollar amounts than ever before. At the same time, jobs in many domestic industries are in jeopardy—or have been lost—as a result of foreign competition. The convergence of these trends has created an important policy issue—how much government protection can and should be given to American industries threatened by foreign imports? There are no simple answers. Freer and expanded international trade would benefit many segments of the U.S. economy. At the same time, already high unemployment rates and fear of future increases have resulted in mounting pressure on the Carter administration and Congress to restrict imports.

AFL-CIO President George Meany recently declared: “Free trade is a joke and a ...

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