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By Joan Veon
September 13, 2003

Do you remember the picture that was painted in the Chevy and Ford television commercials in the 60s and 70s? They portrayed happy American families climbing the middle class economic ladder of success and prosperity. In sunny Cancun, those dreams are about to be turned into nightmares as trade representatives from 147 countries meet to broaden the rules of free trade.

The Bush Administration has opened the World Trade Organization meeting by calling for a radical departure from the Doha Round by eliminating ALL trade barriers and export subsidies on both sides of the table instead of a few at a time. Even though the living standard of the average American is falling, both Republicans and Democrats have maintained that free trade will bring prosperity to all those around the globe. What they haven't told us is the whole story.

Throughout the 90's, while U.S. corporations transferred jobs to China to take advantage of its slave labor force, you paid no attention while the blue-collar workers were being laid off since it wasn't you. Well buddy, it's your turn. Here in majestic Cancun where powerful gyrating waves beat upon white sand beaches and where the water is so blue that you forget you are still on planet Earth, many highly paid professional jobs are now up for grabs to the lowest bidder.

In response to a question I asked about how many professional jobs would be lost or what kind of wage adjustment would American workers incur as a result of lowering barriers on trade in services, members of the U.S. negotiating team said that they were not able to provide any kind of projections but they did maintain that if they are successful in all three areas, the standard of living in many developing countries will rise because they will be participating in a global outsourcing of goods and services.

What this means is that your job just might be one of those outsourced. Countries waiting in line to take your high tech, accounting, tele-marketing, medical x-rays, engineering, architectural or financial analyst job are lining up in India, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and China. According to The Financial Times, "a fundamental restructuring of rich-world economies" is in the process of being birthed. In the 1980s it was manufacturing, then in the 1990s it was outsourcing of the manufacturing process, now it is the outsourcing of the professional jobs!

What is the cry of Wall Street? PROFITS-PROFITS-PROFITS!!! We will now experience a major shift in our standard of living on all economic levels which will help us to finally see what is at stake when profits are maximized: MY JOB, YOUR JOB!

I am told that General Motors is in the process of transferring their engineering design department to India where they will pay an Indian engineer $8,000 a year versus $50,000-80,000 here. Think of the savings. Think of what the analysts will say when they report the increase in profits. GMs stock will rise by 10-30% and investors will cheer-that's if anybody can afford to invest. After all when you have a standard of living that supports a $250,000 plus mortgage, two car payments and kids in college, and then you find that it is your job that has been outsourced, you are not going to be overjoyed. Furthermore you will have to sell all your mutual funds, 401ks and IRAs if you don't have any savings while you get re-training for cleaning the streets. That then will depress the stock and the analysts will moan and groan and the financial geniuses in government will say they need to outsource more jobs.

Because the U.S. is importing $500B more than it is exporting, maybe the government will figure out that there is no such thing as free trade. By that time, no one will be able to afford Wal-Mart. By then we will not have to worry about our trade imbalance because Americans will be paid the same salary as our Chinese slave labor brothers and sisters. In other words, welcome to the global plantation. Now, you know the rest of the story.

� 2003 Joan Veon - All Rights Reserved

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Joan Veon is a businesswoman and independent international reporter. Please visit her website: To get a copy of her WTO report, send $10.00 to The Women's International Media Group, Inc. P. O. Box 77, Middletown, MD 21769. For an information packet, please call 301-371-0541










"I am told that General Motors is in the process of transferring their engineering design department to India where they will pay an Indian engineer $8,000 a year versus $50,000-80,000 here. Think of the savings."