On the eve of voting on trade deals that will send even more North American jobs overseas, the Washington Post reports that “for the first time, lawmakers, businesses and even White House officials are courting consumers from cash-rich countries such as China, India and Brazil to fill the nation’s shopping malls and pick up the slack for penny-pinching Americans.”
Spending by U.S. households “has slowed to a crawl as families struggle under high unemployment rates and depressed home prices. The U.S. gross domestic product last year grew an anemic 3 percent, while China’s and India’s shot up 10 percent. Brazil’s clocked in at about 7.5 percent,” reported the Post.
While Republicans in Congress have blocked efforts to create a national manufacturing industrial policy and other jobs programs, GOP Representative Joseph J. Heck of Nevada did introduce a bill to streamline the visa process to make it easier for shoppers from cash-rich countries to get into the U.S. Nevada is home to the “Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas” that is catering to shoppers from other countries. Nevada also hosted the semifinal round of the “Miss Chinese Cosmos” beauty pageant that showcased the state to 225 million viewers across China.
It seems importing shoppers is one issue that the White House and the GOP Congress can agree on, as the State Department chipped in by promising to accommodate eager shoppers by reducing visa appointment wait times to 30 days.
“I’m sure some of the Americans who aren’t filling our shopping malls are software engineers whose jobs went to India, or people who worked for generations in U.S. factories that are now in China,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger. “This is a glaring example of what’s wrong with our country’s approach to trade and jobs. Instead of finding ways to keep jobs here, legislators keep adopting policies that export jobs. And now they are enticing the people who are getting rich off those jobs to shop in the U.S. It’s absurd. The first step to correct it should be to defeat the pending Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama.”
Click here to “Tell Congress to Vote “NO” on the S. Korea, Colombia and Panama Free Trade Agreements.”