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The Growing Threat to American Workers

The article “U.S. Auto Makers Fret About Threat of Mexican Imports” (April 20) discussed the fear of competition from European manufacturers taking advantage of the free trade agreement by building plants in Mexico.

These same auto makers have taken advantage of U.S. workers by employing cheap labor in Mexico to manufacture so-called American-made cars, like the Buick I bought recently only to discover it was assembled in Mexico.

Many manufacturers, who advertise “made in the U.S.A.” while assembling their products in Mexico, complain about the absence of a “level playing field” with Japan, while Mexico is becoming a far greater threat to American workers. They work for a fraction of the wages and far fewer benefits than their American counterparts.

A large number of California manufacturers are relocating in Mexico, where labor is cheaper and environmental restrictions are poorly enforced or virtually nonexistent. The adoption of the free trade agreement will exacerbate an already intolerable situation, creating added unemployment and loss of tax revenue.

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Continued attacks on American labor by foreign and domestic manufacturers will eventually reduce our standard of living to the level of Third World countries such as Mexico. We must take steps to protect U.S. jobs and manufacturers who support American labor or we will lose our place among the world’s leading industrial nations--if we have not already done so.

BYRON SLATER

San Diego


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