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NEW ORLEANS – Nov. 8 – Author and economist Dr. Ronald R. Pollina brought his clarion call for a drastic change in U.S. trade policies to Business Facilities LiveXchange event here today, telling attendees that our leaders must reverse a steep decline in the nation’s ability to compete with emerging global powerhouse China “before it’s too late.”
In his keynote address at LiveXchange, held this week at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans’ French Quarter, Dr. Pollina warned that global companies and foreign governments are systematically wiping out what is left of the U.S. manufacturing base, with U.S. government acquiescence bought and paid for by special interests determined to ship jobs offshore.
“The line between domestic and foreign companies is blurring,” Dr. Pollina said. “Our trade policy lacks balance and can be bought.”
In his talk, the noted geoeconomist and president of Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc., summarized a series of dire statistics and trends that are included in his recently published book, Selling Out a Superpower: Where the U.S. Economy Went Wrong and How We Can Turn It Around.
In addition to the outsourcing of jobs to China, Dr. Pollina said the U.S. is losing high-paying engineering, medical, business, technology and manufacturing jobs to its free-trade partners and gaining low-pay service jobs, a trend that will lead to a decline in living standards in the United States.
“We are becoming a nation that makes nothing,” Dr. Pollina declared. “Growth has been occurring at the expense of Americans, not for Americans.”
Dr. Pollina cited a Goldman Sachs analysis that predicts China’s economy will surpass the U.S. economy as the world’s largest economic superpower by 2025, and will be nearly twice as large by 2050. “When I started writing my book, the prediction was that they wouldn’t pass us until 2045,” he said, noting that some analysts are projecting that the U.S. may even be overtaken by China in this decade.
The author also cited a McKinsey Global Institute study indicating the number of researchers in China and India rose 35% to 1.6 million in 2008, while at the same time the number of researchers in the U.S. decreased 11% to 760,000. According to Forrester Research, he said, by 2011 10% of all the associates hired by large U.S. law firms will work overseas; and Nasscom-KPMG predicts that information technology revenues in India will jump from 2004’s level of $22 billion to $148 billion by 2012.
Dr. Pollina also gave some stark figures to confirm that the North American Free Trade Agreement has created a jobs bonanza in Mexico and Canada at the expense of U.S. workers. “The U.S. lost 1 million jobs as a result of NAFTA and our trade deficit with Canada and Mexico is now $142 billion,” he said.
Far worse, he said, is the current imbalance with China. Dr. Pollina cited recent statistics indicating that the U.S. trade deficit with China is $270 billion and growing fast, pushing the overall global trade deficit of the United States to more than $1 trillion.
“The U.S. was the greatest job-creating machine in the world, but that is now shifting to China,” he said. “China’s economy does not complement ours. China’s economy has grown at the expense of the U.S. economy. We need to restore ourselves as a formidable economic power and make it clear that we are not going to surrender our way of life.”
“What’s good for China is not good for the U.S.,” Dr. Pollina added.
Dr. Pollina reserved his sharpest criticism for government officials and members of Congress, whom he accused of trading U.S. jobs in exchange for campaign contributions.
“They are selling out our future and our children’s future to special interests,” he said.
Dr. Pollina emphasized that what he is advocating is “fair trade”, not protectionism.
“Fair trade does not mean protectionism,” he said. “Fair trade means we balance our trade policy with the impact on the United States and on the growth of our economy and American jobs.”
In closing, Dr. Pollina said he fears that American citizens will not wake up to the magnitude of the threat to the economic supremacy of the U.S. until they hear that China has overtaken America as the world’s largest economy.
“By then it will be too late to do anything about it,” he warned.
As signed copies of his book were distributed to attendees at the LiveXchange keynote, Dr. Pollina noted the White House requested the book for President Obama.
“I hope he reads it and does what’s necessary,” the author said.
Dr. Ronald R. Pollina is President and founder of Chicago-based Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc. Since 1981, Pollina Corporate has represented clients nationally and internationally with strategic planning and location analysis. Dr. Pollina is recognized as an expert in corporate location analysis, economic development and geoeconomic trends.
Prior to forming the company, Dr. Pollina was real estate economist for one of the nation’s largest real estate firms. During the mid-1970’s, he served as geoeconomist in the economic development division of Continental Illinois National Bank.
Dr. Pollina has represented numerous Fortune 500 companies as location consultant, including Xerox, E.I. du Pont, 3Com, Time Magazine, Bosch, Caterpillar, State Farm Insurance and Prudential Insurance. He has represented his clients in virtually every state in the United States as well as foreign locations. Many of these projects have included the location selection of corporate headquarters, research and development, manufacturing and distribution facilities.
Dr. Pollina has authored over 70 published articles on the subjects of geoeconomics, corporate relocation and economic development. His opinions on geoeconomics and corporate location have been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Financial Times of London, Business Week, Forbes Magazine, Chicago Tribune and the New York Times. Dr. Pollina is the author of the nationally recognized Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States study that is published annually and has received coverage by CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, FOX and NPR.
Business Facilities LiveXchange has for the past six years been the unique award-winning event which connects senior level corporate executives actively searching for new locations for their expansion, consolidation or relocation projects with leading economic development professionals from across the U.S.