====== FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ======
America First Party
1630 A 30th Street #111
Boulder, Colorado 80301
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tariffs Urgently Needed to Protect U.S. Workers, Marketplace, and Industries
Boulder, CO -- While the United States is squarely on course to losing its premier position in the world economy, lawmakers and major party political candidates continue to endorse the same free trade policies which have brought us to the brink of an economic meltdown. The consequences are and will be gravely damaging to the national interest, American workers, and the middle class. Action is needed quickly, while America still has the global economic leverage to take protective action to preserve its markets and industries.
As evidence of the slippage, we see overseas outlets for multinational retailers like Best Buy and Wal-Mart outperforming domestic stores. The financial sector is also slipping, and according to UBS AG analysts, banks, brokers, and insurers will likely lose at least $600 billion due to subprime debt exposure. Citigroup, after losing $18 billion in the fourth quarter, is now laying off about 37,000 workers. The manufacturing sector is hemorrhaging, with three million manufacturing jobs lost between 2001 and 2007, many to nations where workers earn 10% of U.S. wages. The damage is ongoing, with all three US automakers now offering buyouts to workers in a desperate attempt to lower costs by reducing their workforces, as foreign competition and consumer confidence cuts into their revenues. Merrill Lynch's Chief North American Economist recently predicted a loss of 2.5 million U.S. jobs in 2008.
AFP Chairman Jon Hill stated, "With 1 in 10 residential mortgage holders facing negative equity, America is facing disaster. We must protect our workers, as well as regenerate our industries and marketplace by gradually reintroducing tariffs. In doing so, we will follow Adam Smith in rejecting the free trade ideology endorsed by Karl Marx."
"The precarious condition of the debt-leveraged middle class and American worker highlights the risk of poverty for many of our fellow citizens," stated AFP Press Secretary JC Schweingrouber. "For many Americans, economic opportunities have been slipping away, largely due to the free-trade fanaticism that persists both in Washington and in the major parties. The time-tested solution is tariff protection. Tariffs will need to be gradually reintroduced, but they would eventually level the playing field for our workers and industries."
Jonathan Hill, National Chairman, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 4
John Schweingrouber, Press Secretary, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 2