Until recent decades, America was the most prosperous and admired country in the world.
America had the best lifestyle, best opportunities for education and personal growth, the richest population, and some of the best jobs in the world. Trade agreements are rapidly eating away at that by shifting wealth and all opportunities from America to other countries which are signatories of those agreements.
If we use as our analogy a glass filled with liquid, what free trade and other no-barrier trade agreements do to prosperous nations, like America once was, is much the same as what happens when the glass is knocked over towards those other country signatories. The liquid rushes to “seek its own level” before coming to rest. Everything, from jobs to opportunities rushes to those other countries. And it all stays there until manufacturing can be made more competitive back in America once again.
Who benefits? Have-not countries will benefit in the short run, for about 30 to 40 years as the “liquid” in those countries rises, but not quite to the level of what America once was. But prosperity for those nations and for their people does indeed rise to where they too, one day, feel entitled. During that same period the population of have countries, like America, slowly awakens to the reality of a crumbling economy, the exodus of good jobs, the destruction of unions and all that unions won for workers, and the loss of everything that a wealthy nation once was able to afford.
The only way to win with trade agreements is for a nation or companies within a nation to build a superior, GLOBALLY SUSTAINABLE, strategic, competitive advantage.
What’s a sustainable strategic advantage? Well…that’s the real problem. There is no such thing anymore.
Competitive advantage depends on commandeering scarce resources and information and keeping manufacturing processes and proprietary specifications close to the chest. Today, thanks to internet and excellent shipping, both resources and information are widely, globally, available to almost all competing nations.