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Trade policy affects our lives in many critical ways. It helps determine the price we pay for goods and services as well as the wages we get paid for doing our jobs. Trade is good if it lowers the price for products at the store, but it clearly isn’t worth it if those savings come at the expense of American jobs or our security.

Over the past ten years, free trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) have resulted in lost jobs for Kansans. The high quality jobs that Americans depend on to provide for their families have moved to countries with cheaper labor and often sub-standard working conditions. With each successive free trade deal, our government’s ability to enforce these agreements continues to slide and the supposed benefits dramatically decrease.

I am not against trade and believe that we must compete worldwide and should expand our exports. I just do not believe these free trade agreements are the way to achieve greater economic health. Other countries don’t have to meet the same stringent requirements that American companies have to meet. It just doesn’t make any sense to put our businesses and workers at such a disadvantage.