Letter to the Editor

Job numbers tip of iceberg

Saturday, October 23, 2004

To the editor:

In response to "Meeting focuses on outsourcing in Southeast Missouri": Thanks for the good article covering Tuesday night's event on job loss in Missouri. One important fact that was left out was that the job losses I catalogued in my study were only the ones that qualify for trade adjustment assistance and not all jobs that have been offshored. The job losses were direct manufacturing production jobs exported because of our free trade agreements. They didn't include service jobs in the factories that shut down or elsewhere, nor the suppliers to the plant that closed, nor the lunch place nearby that lost its business because there were no more workers. That's why I said these numbers were just the tip of the iceberg, and trade related job loss is far more serious than our government lets us know.

I also not only pointed out that the rate of trade-related job loss is increasing, but also that new trade agreements waiting for approval -- like the Central American Free Trade Agreement and the Free Trade Area of the Americas which the Bush administration is currently negotiating -- will only increase the rate of job losses.

JUDY ANCEL, Institute for Labor Studies, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City