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Season 3, Episode 77

How global trade decimated manufacturing



Guest Name:

Chris Martin

Guest Website:


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Supportive Documents:

Chris Martin, Professor of Digital Journalism at the University of Northern Iowa and a contributing writer for Working Class Perspectives, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and spoke about a blog he recently published. The piece explores why working voices were right about the impact of unfettered global trade on working communities and the loss it created in the American manufacturing sector.

Martin’s blog looks back at the consequential trade agreements made over 20 years ago that then-President Bill Clinton assured would bring “a future of greater prosperity for the American people.”

That prosperity failed to materialize, just as many in the labor movement warned, Martin said. He recounted a protest of over 50,000 people at the World Trade Organization’s Third Ministerial Conference in Seattle in 1999 and what became known as “The Battle in Seattle.”

Shortly after Seattle, trade relations were normalized in China and American manufacturing jobs fell off a cliff, Martin said. Ever since, America’s working class has struggled to survive, he added. Jobs disappeared and countless communities dried up, never to recover.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about this topic.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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