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Robots, Not Trade, Threaten U.S. Jobs

Posted May 27, 2015

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Andres Oppenheimer – Miami Herald)

Critics of President Barack Obama’s plan to sign a Trans-Pacific agreement that would create the world’s biggest free trade zone are missing the point: The biggest threat to U.S. jobs won’t come from cheaper imports from Vietnam, Malaysia or Mexico, but from robots.

Congressional opponents of Obama’s proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) — a bloc of 12 Pacific Rim countries in Asia and the Americas that would include Japan, the world’s third-largest economy — say the deal would outsource jobs to cheap-labor Asian countries. Among the biggest critics of the plan is the AFL-CIO, and legislators from Obama’s own Democratic party.

But their fears are at best exaggerated. While some of TTP participants, such as Vietnam and Malaysia, have much lower wages than the United States, workers in other possible TTP member countries, such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan, by most standards earn higher wages. Click here to read more.