Lost in the furor is a basic economic question: what are we going to make? From The Oregonian, about a Port of Vancouver ceremony for an expansion project:
In a ceremony full of speeches, however, a top longshore official nearly stole the show by asserting that free trade agreements may have benefited cargo shipping, but not American workers.
Brad Clark, president of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 4, aimed his words at Congress in general and, in particular, Democratic U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and U.S. Rep. Brian Baird — all of whom attended the ceremony on a rocky patch of Terminal 5.
“When I started on the docks over 20 years ago,” Clark said from his prepared remarks, “our terminals were full of American-made cargo ready for export. With the signing of various free trade agreements, this is no longer the case.”
He concluded: “As we look around this beautiful new terminal, many of you visualize the profits that will be made with the increase in import vessel calls.
“But my vision, my dream, is that before I retire, this space will be used to export cargo — cargo that is manufactured by the American worker.
“If that dream happens, you benefit, I benefit, my union benefits and most importantly, this nation benefits.”
Sometimes you forget we used to send stuff the other way, and people around the world liked our stuff. Americans are pretty hard workers, clever and will do a great job if you don’t crap all over them just to satisfy CNBC.