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Readers write: Trade solutions, US economy

Letters to the editor for the Oct. 10, 2016 weekly magazine.

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Ying Chau places a completed piece of luggage into a plastic bag at the C.C. Filson Co. manufacturing facility, in Seattle.

Ted S. Warren/AP

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Trade solutions

Regarding the Aug. 8 cover story, “The truth about US manufacturing”: The United States has a $500 billion annual trade deficit primarily because of the loss of manufacturing. Every dollar spent in manufacturing generates an additional $1.08 of business. Thus the loss of manufacturing jobs has an oversized effect on total jobs.

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If we had balanced trade deals, we would have avoided the 20 percent drop in wages for those without a high school education, the 10 percent drop in wages for those with a high school education, and flatline wages for those without a college education. The Clinton, Bush, and Obama administration trade deals were made for the benefit of parts of the business community and the well-to-do and to reach foreign-policy goals by which we paid off countries for other favors by giving them US jobs.

There are three solutions: tariffs, renegotiating trade deals, and certificates. Tariffs have rewarded those with friends in Congress, which decides what industries to favor, while trade deals are driven by short-term foreign-policy objectives. Trade certificates are an ideal proposed by Warren Buffett; each exporter gets a certificate for each dollar of export. Importers have to buy certificates from exporters where there will be a high price for certificates if there is a large trade deficit. It’s a free market strategy to force a balance in trade.

Charles Forsberg 

Lexington, Mass.

US economy

Regarding the June 21 blog post that ran on CSMonitor.com, “Will US productivity stagnate or flourish? Maybe neither.”: The article states that “US productivity performance has been utterly dismal ... [in] an eight-year rut.” The US economy is building a permanent state of stagnation by adding entitlements from debt instead of taxes. Immigrants are coming to the United States for entitlement instead of jobs. To build a sustained economic recovery, we need to control our debt and secure our borders.

Robert Shaw

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DeLand, Fla.