NYT: Trade Deals Are Big Job Creators

A New York Times story today (10/28/11) by Jennifer Steinhauer on the state of bipartisanship in Washington noted:

Outside of a few recent flashes of light–the passage of three trade bills this month, and an agreement on patent reform–there have been no big bipartisan jobs initiatives in this Congress.

The idea that trade deals with Colombia and South Korea are “big” job creators is not a fact–it’s an argument that proponents of the deals make. But a corporate media that gives a thumbs-up to anything labeled “free trade” are going to be just as eager to call these deals job creators.

As Janine Jackson noted in a recent article in Extra!, the media didn’t seem interested in evaluating the job creation numbers peddled by the deal’s promoters, who were claiming 70,000 jobs would be created by the Korea agreement. According to Public Citizen, the deal could result in a net loss of jobs.

The story with patent reform is similar–lawmakers make spectacular claims about the jobs that are going to be created, while critics suggest the effect will be minor.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.