At today’s press conference responding to the lousy jobs report, Obama offered a few suggestions for how to create jobs: patent reform, infrastructure investment, confidence fairies and … “free trade.”

But as the Economic Policy Institute has shown, these trade deals would actually cost jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector, which has finally begun to turn around. Colombia wouldn’t even be required to end its tolerance for the murder of labor organizers, as was originally going to be required. Not only that, but Republicans (the ones who actually want these trade deals) are now balking on funding Trade Adjustment Assistance as part of the deal, so workers whose jobs get sent to Korea can get training that will help them find a new one.

In short, Obama’s “solution” to the jobs crisis is–at least as Republicans envision it–a way to send jobs to a country where workers get killed for standing up to their employers without, at the same time, trying to help Americans adjust to losing their jobs.

Somehow, suggesting we address the jobs crisis by sending them overseas doesn’t make me believe in the confidence fairy.



Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.