The Impact of Free-Trade Policies on Job Growth and Prosperity

Through the uses of diction Klein is able to target the fears of those who have suffered at the expense of free trade agreements. She states ‘with the advent of free trade: thanks to the removal of virtually all barriers to capital flows, corporations could pick up and leave every time labor cost started rising. (219) This idea of delocalizing jobs is a central concern of her targeted audience. She continues this tone with a quote from Malm saying there is ‘a causal link between the quest for cheap and disciplined labor power and rising CO2 emissions’ (219) The idea of companies moving oversees is a common concern.

The language she uses to target this audience when she uses words such as ‘pick up and leave ..every time labor cost started rising’ and ‘the quest for cheap and disciplined labor’ paints these large corporations in a negative light. By crafting her argument in this way, she is conveying to her audience that free trade and its policies are a direct threat to their job security and a direct cause for climate change.

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Additionally, Klein uses an anecdote to target her audience by presenting a story that could be paralleled by many who have suffered at the hands of large corporations that moved overseas to cut the cost to make a bigger profit leaving the local people unemployed. Klein provides the example of a solar panel company in Ontario that had the potential to produce a new solar panel with almost unmatched capabilities. The solar panel company was a part of Ontario’s green energy project that was meant to’ (209) revive Ontario’s moribund manufacturing sector’ by ensuring ‘that a minimum percentage of their workforces and material were local to Ontario’ (208).

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The project was halted after Japan and Europe claimed that the ‘local content requirement’ was a violation of the world trade agreement. As a result, many of the buyers of the Ontario solar panel switched to cheaper less effective models China produced. Klein says the ‘national treatment which requires governments to make no distinction between goods produced by local companies and goods produced by foreign firms’ (210) is the main cause. She continues saying ‘favoring local industry constitutes illegal discrimination’ (210). The idea that ensuring jobs are created at home is ‘discriminatory’ is absurd, and paints the picture that governments that support free trade do not care about their own citizens. She provides a quote from a trade analyst that sums up this idea: ‘in order to combat climate change there’s a real need to start localizing our economies again so how do you tackle the idea of needing to incentivize local economies, tying together local green policies, when that it is just a no-go in trade policy’.(222) By presenting this story she engages her audience, those affected by unemployment and small business owners, by acknowledging their struggles and highlighting the ineffectiveness and disregard for local projects that would support its citizens.

To further this idea Klein introduces the idea that free-market trade policies such as NAFTA and the WTO prevent local green energy projects that would address the climate issue as well as create jobs for the local economy. To motivate them to act for her cause she presents a solution: the localized green energy projects will supply jobs as a part of her sharing economy idea. She crafts her argument to target the fears and problems of those who have suffered at the expense of free-market trade and presents a solution that would both remedy their problems and supply a solution to the green energy project. Klein says a WTO economist ‘notes the promise of local job creation has been key to the success of local energy programs’.(221)She alternates between an evidence-based form that includes the use of data and quotes from experts in their field and first-hand accounts of those who have suffered from free trade agreements. The combination of these two styles captures the attention of her audience that struggle the same way and presenting evidence to convince them the cause of their struggles are the multinational corporations themselves.

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The Impact of Free-Trade Policies on Job Growth and Prosperity. (2020, May 22). Retrieved from

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