THE familiar but still sad story of industrial jobs being shipped outside the country, so capably related by Jill Long of Defiance in today's top letter to the editor ("Outrage absent over job losses"), has been repeated often in The Blade's pages of opinion over the past two decades.
We opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement from its inception on Jan. 1, 1994, on the grounds that while free trade is good, American workers weren't being protected like they should be from the export overseas of jobs - particularly industrial jobs that bolstered northwest Ohio.
As we pointed out in a 1997 editorial, a Clinton administration report claiming that the agreement had produced more jobs in the U.S. than had left was being "economical with the truth."
Despite the laudatory claims, we noted that the report was misleading. Many jobs had already been lost.
"NAFTA may not be a bust [but] it is certainly far from being an unalloyed success," we concluded. "Economic consultants may see only good in arrangements like NAFTA. They, unlike rank-and-file workers who are the backbone of American industry, don't have to worry about competition from Mexican consultants."
So it goes with those who will soon lose their jobs at the Archbold plant of Nobel Automotive. Their work is headed to Costa Rica, Canada, and elsewhere, likely never to return.
For the workers, this is especially bitter since one of the outsourcers is the new incarnation of Chrysler, which received billions in government bailout money.
Like the Nobel workers, we are outraged by this patently inequitable turn of events, and we will not hesitate to remind President Obama how much he owes Ms. Long and her coworkers and that rebuilding the economy cannot succeed if the result is more millions of workers without the means to buy products streaming from overseas.
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