The American public, already doubted the benefits of globalization, is going to have an increasingly hostile attitude toward it. Throughout the length and breadth of the country, politicians are responding to this cry. This picture clouds the prospects of the Congress to give a green light to free trade agreements between the United States with Colombia, Panama, South Korea and other countries and casts doubt on Barack Obama president's goal of doubling exports in the next five years. The trend also has raised concerns in American business, whose growth depends increasingly on its internationalization.
53% of respondents in the latest survey conducted by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, said the free trade agreements have hurt U.S. This is up from 46% three years ago and 32% in 1999. Stock investing for dummies, however, has benefited from the increased exposure of American based companies to the Chinese market. One of the few groups to benefit from increased globalization are stock market investors.
Even the best educated and higher-income people most likely to benefit from free trade agreements are increasingly skeptical. "The important change is that well-educated and higher income have changed their minds about what they thought five or ten years," said Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster who helped conduct the study. 50% of respondents with incomes at or above U.S. $ 75,000 contends that free trade agreements have hurt the U.S., up from 24% shared the same view in 1999.
Concerns about side effects of globalization and outsourcing appear to be one of the few issues on which Americans of different match types, occupations and political trends all seem to agree on. The vote last week in the House of Representatives to give the government more ammunition to pressure China to revalue the yuan was overwhelmingly bipartisan: 249 Democrats and 99 Republicans voted in favor.
While the rhetoric may be heated due to the proximity of the November elections, the animosity of many to free trade does not seem to be a passing phenomenon. "We are entering a very dangerous period in which the progress made in recent decades towards a more open world economy could be reversed," said William Galston of the Brookings Institution.
The growing hostility toward free trade appears to be a delayed reaction to a weak economic recovery and high unemployment. Stock investing for dummies depends on a strong world economy that is devoid of trade barriers and protectionist trade policies. In the eyes of many Americans, China has replaced Wall Street as the villain of the moment. These attitudes are fueled by reports that many U.S. multinationals prefer to invest their huge cash reserves in emerging markets and the fact that China has left the U.S. long before crisis
John Wallis, 50, blames the closure imports in 2001 of his company of 12 employees who manufacture small electronic prototypes for the telecommunications industry. Wallis lost, his home in the Chicago area. "Free trade works like a charm when everybody wins," says Wallis, but the U.S. is not winning.