Demystifying Trade Talk: Sorting Fact from Fiction in the Politics of Free Trade
Sat, April 22, 2017 | Benson Latin American Collection, 2nd floor conference room, SRH 1.208
9:30 AM - 2:30 AM
Protest of Trans Pacific Partnership
In recent years, the perils of free trade and its danger to national sovereignty and workers’ rights have become a rallying cry for growing populist movements across the world, especially here at home. Free trade agreements such as NAFTA and the TPP have been maligned as fueling a “global race to the bottom” and labeled “job-killing agreements.” Progressives and human rights advocates have long looked to free trade deals as the culprit behind worker abuses and loss of livelihood that drives immigration. Unlikely presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders rose to unforeseen popularity in large part due to their promises to reverse trade policies and halt the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a promise Trump immediately adhered to during his first days in office.
But can halting and pulling out from free trade agreements truly save our manufacturing industry? What are the implications of pulling out of the TPP and renegotiating NAFTA? Is NAFTA the job killer so many believe it is, or are we conflating it with other global phenomena? How do trade agreements affect workers in partner countries, and what other impacts have they had besides those on wages and manufacturing? Finally, where does China, with which we don’t have a trade agreement, fit into this?
Come sort out politics from policy in this teachers’ workshop on trade. Our presenters will move past ideological stances to provide a more nuanced understanding of trade, trade agreements, and their impacts on wages, workers, and national economic prosperity.
- Dr. Patricia Hansen, Texas Law, will help break down the major concepts and common misconceptions about free trade;
- Dr. James Galbraith, LBJ School of Public Policy, will take a closer look at free trade and its impacts on labor; and
- Dr. Elsie Echeverri Carroll, IC2 Institute, will discuss the history of NAFTA and U.S.–Mexico relations.
Designed for high school social studies teachers; all educators are welcome. Teachers may receive five professional development hours (CPE). Lunch and refreshments provided. RSVP required at https://demystifytrade.eventbrite.com. For more information, contact Lindsey Engelman at 512.232.2404.
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