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Readers Respond

Asian trade deal will cost American jobs

America needs a strong manufacturing sector that creates new businesses, jobs and opportunities for all in order to sustain robust economic growth ("Senate vote moves Obama's trade agenda to brink of enactment," June 24).

Manufacturing is responsible for 70 percent of U.S. research and development, and often spins off entire new industries. But since 2000, American manufacturing has lost thousands of factories and 5 million jobs.

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The top reason: poorly conceived "free trade" agreements that Washington has pushed, including NAFTA and CAFTA and the acceptance of Korea and China into the World Trade Organization.

Given the record of job outsourcing and factory closings, it is troubling that Congress has just given President Barack Obama "fast track" authority to negotiate the trade Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, which will only lead to more job loss and higher trade deficits.

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Thankfully, Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin was one of those who stood firmly against Fast Track. Thank you, Senator Cardin, for defending American manufacturing.

Kevin L. Kearns, Washington, D.C.

The writer is president of the U.S. Business & Industry Council.


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