Effects of Food and Beverage Imports on Certain Sectors of U.S. Labor
Parikh, Lynn E.
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Food and beverage imports into the u.s. have tripled within the past 15 years. The cause of this influx of goods can be attributed to such economic factors as the exchange rate, foreign direct investing into the u.s., and certain trade restrictions in existence between nations. Political and social factors can also be attributed to these increased import commodities since the world that we live in is constantly changing to satisfy people's needs. Many people blame these increased imports and trade policies on the great unemployment in some industries while others consider them to be a stimulus for employment. What has been indicated through research on employment in certain industries and through comparative research on the most popular food and beverage items imported into the u.s. is that neither great employment has been created nor has· great unemployment persisted, but that there has been a gradual shift in employment in the food and beverage industries. As the U.S. imports more foods and beverages, the people in these import-sensitive industries are displaced, while the industries who rely on these imports to function increase employment. Working with the AFL-CIO I found that most of the union workers were in favor of managed trade so that workers would not loose their jobs, but what they did not see was that liberalized trade kept domestic prices down and used resources more efficiently. While free trade among nations is ideal for the world economy, managed trade must be instituted in some instances where it is needed. Such is the case when countries begin dumping their imports on the u.s. or the u.s. develops a huge trade deficit with countries as was the case with South America during the early 1980's. Trade barriers should be held to a minimum to ensure fair trade among nations and efficient allocation of world resources.