The ongoing globalization of economic life leaves many
Americans nervous and suspicious. Pat Buchanan has
played to this anxiety in two presidential campaigns and
is now preparing to do so a third time. To that end he has
written The Great Betrayal, a root-and-branch rejection of
free trade in favor of a "new nationalism."
Buchanan on the history of U.S. protectionism: "Behind a tariff wall
built by Washington, Hamilton, Clay, Lincoln, and the Republican
presidents who followed, the United States had gone from an agrarian
coastal republic to become the greatest industrial power the world had
ever seen -- in a single century. Such was the success of the policy
called protectionism that is so disparaged today."1
Buchanan on national sovereignty: "Like a shipwrecked, exhausted
Gulliver on the beach of Lilliput, America is to be tied down with threads,
strand by strand, until it cannot move when it awakens. 'Piece by piece,'
our sovereignty is being surrendered."2
Buchanan on the trade deficit and jobs: "In 1996 the U.S.
merchandise trade deficit hit an astounding $191 billion. Never before had
an advanced industrial nation recorded such a deficit. If, as Presidents
Bush and Clinton have contended, $1 billion in exports equals twenty
thousand jobs, America loses between 3.5 million and 4 million
manufacturing jobs annually."3
Buchanan on the North American Free Trade Agreement: "Two
years after NAFTA, the predictions of its opponents had all come true.
The U.S. trade surplus with Mexico had vanished; a trade deficit of $15
billion had opened up. . . By 1997, 3,300 maquiladora factories were
operating, employing 800,000 Mexican workers in jobs that not long ago
would have gone to Americans."4
Buchanan on imports: "Americans no longer make their own cameras,
shoes, radios, TVs, toys. A fifth of our steel, a third of our autos, half our
machine tools, and two-thirds of our textiles and clothes are made
1. The Great Betrayal: How American Sovereignty and Social Justice Are
Being Sacrificed to the Gods of the Global Economy, by Patrick J.
Buchanan, New York: Little, Brown, page 224.
2. Ibid. page 107.
3. Ibid. page 36.
4. Ibid. page 269.
5. Ibid. page 13.
LET'S BE PREPARED TO THINK ABOUT THESE STATEMENTS IN CLASS