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How Free Trade Agreements Work on the Ground

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A Wisconsin-based mining company is using the Central American Free Trade Agreement to sue the government of El Salvador for closing down a mine because of pollution. The Commerce Group is suing El Salvador for $100 million in damages for violating CAFTA.

This is the race to the bottom. This is why companies go overseas. With free trade agreements, we recreate Gilded Age labor and environmental conditions in the developing world. We have simply exported all the negatives of the Industrial Revolution. We were promised cheap goods and information economy. They were promised jobs. Instead, we are mired in an economic slump without a foreseeable end and a failed information economy while they live in endemic poverty and suffer environmental poisoning. And the last several presidents, regardless of political party, have supported the continuation of this trend.

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