Once again, the Bush Administration punts and signs a treaty that causes price increases in garments. (James Kanter writes).
Low-cost imports can cause job dislocation and real pain, but it is also the case that the higher prices that come from trade barriers can be like a regressive tax that hits poorer families four times harder than well-off families.
Brad Setser comments (not on this action but on the trade deficit’s impact on the US worker):
However, despite the strong wage improvements in recent years, it was not until 1998 that the wage level for middle-wage workers (the median hourly wage) jumped above its 1979 level. The median male wage in 2000 was still below its 1979 level, even though productivity was 44.5% higher in 2000 than in 1979.
Real household income is up largely because the average household works more now than it did then.