Free Trade Agreements (FTA) Are Not Free For American Manufacturing!

American Writer by Dr. Pietro Savo

Free trade agreements have a devastating cost to American Manufacturing that materializes in reduced and lost wages, and jobs that do not occur in the United States at all. Free Trade Agreements are designed to benefit the other guy! Our current high unemployment is despairing proof of that.

In 1950, manufacturing was about 35% of total employment. In 2004, this number dropped to only 13%, and in 2010, the number was only 5.95%. In the last 50 years, the United States’ poor economy and high unemployment resulted from government policy changes such as free trade agreements (FTA). Currently, the United States has FTAs with 15 countries: Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua Oman, Peru, and Singapore. The seminal research by Robert Scott (2001), while engaged in writing for the Economic Policy Institute, addressed why FTA core principles better supported the 50 years of the strategic industrial growth policies of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and China than United States Manufacturing. The Asian model simply protected their industries by investing heavily in manufacturing process research, employee education, and subsidizing R&D investment. This strategic industrial growth policy represented the complete opposite of what has occurred here in the United States (Scott, 2001). The United States failed to learn lessons from their past about protecting manufacturing industries and consequently, continues to lose manufacturing jobs.

The focus must be on groundbreaking innovation through reduced government restrictions, which allowed for new ideas with a predictable structure that delivers a predictable future (Heath, 2007). Richard Freeman and Knight Kiplinger (2008) studies regarded government as an influence on directional change that effected market share and its contribution to positive business growth. How the government encourages business to seek out new market opportunities determines the level of economic success that is achievable nation-wide (Kiplinger, 2008). All of these show there is a positive role government can make to the revitalization of the manufacturing sector staged for taking advantage of technology. Developing the best talent based educated workforce, and bringing about the necessary change to develop improved industry best practices.

How you can help! 1) Buy made in the United States products. 2) Contact your senator and congressional representatives, and ask for, no demand laws that protect the American Workforce. 3) When these politicians will not listen, vote them out, and seek out politicians that are pro American Manufacturing. Building United States Manufacturing to the greatness it once was begins by Americans promoting United States’ Manufacturing one new job at a time!


Heath, D., Heath, C. (2007). THE MYTH ABOUT CREATION MYTHS. Fast Company. Boston 113(61), 1.

Kiplinger, K. (2008). Knight Kiplinger’s Solution to the Economic Crisis. Economy., October 8, 2008

Scott, F., Butler, J., & Edwards, J. (2001). Does Lean Production Sacrifice Learning in a Manufacturing Environment? An action learning case study. Studies in Continuing Education, 23(2), 229-241.

by AMERICAN WRITER Dr. Pietro Savo Tradition Books Publication © 2011


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About Dr. Pietro Savo

Dr. Pietro (Pete) Savo is a Principal Consultant with over 28 years of diverse experience in Business Strategy Improvement (BSI), Leadership Development, Operations, Engineering, Manufacturing, Quality Systems, Material Management, Supply Chain, Union Shop and consulting environments. Pietro created the term Manufacturing Research Practitioner ™ as the foundation for his Doctoral thesis dedicated to improving the United States Manufacturing Industry.  Dr. Savo has lectured at, Boeing Aircraft, Lockheed Martin, Rolls Royce, Northup Grumman, Raytheon and United Technologies on various subjects such as Lean Thinking, Leadership, Team Building, Quality Systems ISO Registrar Selection and Root Cause Analysis. Taught Root Cause Analysis for American Society for Quality (ASQ). Customized Training Specialties Leadership & Culture & Conflict Resolution Made Simple Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Problem Solving & Mistake-Proof It! Lean Manufacturing & The 6S's: Workplace Organization Evolving Quality Systems ISO 9001:2000/AS 9100:2000 Industry Evolution Building Business with the United States Government and Prime Contractors New Project Bidding Team Improvement Training “Know Your Front End” Published: Root Cause Analysis System for Problem Solving and Problem Avoidance Published: PERFECTION - 10 Secrets to Successful Lean Manufacturing Implementation. United States Navy Veteran View all posts by Dr. Pietro Savo

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