More than 2 million U.S. jobs have been lost in the last two years. Hundreds of manufacturing firms have closed their doors for good. Economists have incorrectly predicted economic recovery for at least three years now.
As the recession pushes on and auction notices continue to appear in the mail, you have to ask yourself, when will it really, finally start getting better? It's our opinion that it won't - not until our government acknowledges the real source of the problem and measures are taken to rectify it.
Many people, including government, big business leaders and the media, blame the slumping economy on the impending war with Iraq and soaring oil prices. But the economy began its downward turn in the 1990s when U.S. free-trade policies opened the floodgates, causing millions of American jobs to leave for foreign shores - namely to China, where cheap labor and undervalued currency are the perfect strategy for luring American manufacturing.
Jobs aren't the only thing leaving the United States. Our state-of-the-art technology, skills and intellectual property are being handed to China. Entire programs and production lines are moving there, too, due to the wide, unfavorable disparity in tariffs and labor costs.
You don't have to take our word for it. It's all in a government-commissioned report filed in July 2002 by the U.S.-China Security Review Commission. Pay particular attention to Chapter 2, in which key findings on trade and investment in China are outlined. National security is not the least of this report's concerns.
The Chicago Chapter of the American Mold Builders Association recently formed an initiative to build public and government awareness of the devastating effects the increasing economic trade deficit with China has had on U.S. businesses and to create solutions that will re-establish the United States as the manufacturing leader and promote reinvestment in the American labor force. The initiative is called SAM, or Save American Manufacturing.
SAM is uniting manufacturers from all areas of industry through a grass-roots letter-writing campaign designed to inform legislators that their constituents are facing not only the loss of their entire careers, but also the American dream. Letters to President Bush are being collected through the beginning of April and will be delivered to the White House with the help of SAM supporter U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo, R-Ill.
Several hundred letters have been collected to date from across the United States. Support is growing daily.
Scottish jurist and historian Sir Alex Fraser Tyler once said, ``The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through a sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependence back to bondage.''
Is this the road we're traveling?
Together, we can make a difference. To join the SAM initiative, or for more information, email [email protected]
On behalf of the Save American Manufacturing Committee
AMBA Chicago Chapter