Synopses & Reviews
The subject of widespread attention when first released, including the pages of the New York Times Book Review, Myths of Free Trade provides a front-row seat to the Washington spectacle of corporate lobbying and political intimidation that keeps the free-trade mantra alive as American policy, despite all the evidence of its failure.
U.S. Representative Sherrod Brown—a leading progressive voice in Congress and a twelve-year veteran of Washington’s trade wars—takes apart free-trade dogma, myth by myth. His book is an accessible, personal, globe-trotting chronicle, taking the reader from the coffee fields of Nicaragua to the sweatshops of China; from the toxic wastelands on the Mexican border to the halls of Congress.
Described as an “essential primer” by The Progressive and a “voice of truth” by Public Citizen News, this edition includes a fascinating update that describes the congressional battle over the Central American Free Trade Agreement—a battle led by Tom DeLay on one side and Sherrod Brown on the other.
"Brown, a Democratic congressman from northeastern Ohio's steel belt, is a veteran of legislative battles-described here in gory, arm-twisting detail-over NAFTA, GATT and other trade agreements, and in this impassioned polemic, he rebuts the usual rationales offered by free traders. Our current free trade agenda, Brown insists, is an un-American departure from a history of tariffs and government intervention aimed at developing the nation's economy and protecting workers and the environment from the excesses of the market. He contends that free trade doesn't promote growth in either developed or developing countries, but simply shifts well-paying American jobs to Third World sweatshops. There, miserably underpaid workers, denied workplace safety regulations or the right to unionize, can't buy the products they make, which creates imbalances of supply over demand and thus contributes to global economic stagnation. Rather than spreading American values around the globe, he argues, free trade buttresses the power of authoritarian regimes like China's. Indeed, in Brown's view, no one benefits from unregulated trade except corporations and rich investors, eager to deploy their assets wherever labor and the environment are most profitably exploited. Although not systematically developed, Brown's fact-filled argument is a cogent critique of American trade policies in a punchy left-populist style that is rarely heard in Washington these days." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Sherrod Brown demolishes the seven myths of NAFTA, and the ‘wonders’ of free-trade. . . . In Brown we have an eloquent public servant—rather than a go-along private one." —Studs Terkel
"Sherrod Brown reveals the power, corruption, and lies behind U.S. trade policy." —Eric Schlosser
Corporate globalization is inevitable
Free-trade agreements help fight the war on terrorism
Free trade leaves most people better off--rich or poor
Free trade will bring democracy, human rights, and freedom to authoritarian governments
NAFTA has been a success
Free trade is a great American tradition
About the Author
United States Senator Sherrod Brown serves on the Senate Committee on Finance, the Senate Committee on Banking, the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, and the Veterans Affairs Committee. Previously, he represented Ohio’s 13th Congressional District and served on the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Brown has also taught in Ohio public schools and at the Ohio State University. He is the author of Congress from the Inside
. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Cleveland, Ohio.