The news article about New Balance trying to keep its manufacturing in the United States, although circumstances make it difficult to do so (article, “Vietnam’s Fearsome Sneakers,” July 30) showed the harm trade agreements can do to American businesses, workers and communities.

On the other hand, the editorial “Trade Shouldn’t be Hostage to Debt Crisis” (July 28) did not mention any of the damage these agreements can do to our businesses, workers and communities.

Neither did the editorial acknowledge that there’s a difference between what’s in a treaty and what’s in a “side agreement.”

These “side agreements” are often not enforced.

Congress should not endorse trade agreements without a detailed expert examination of their effect on U.S. businesses and U.S. workers.

New Balance and its struggle to keep its factories (and jobs) in the U.S. is an example of what can happen.

Your editorial criticized Rep. Mike Michaud for not endorsing specific trade agreements.

Michaud always has been one to carefully examine the details in legislation and to consult experts when necessary, to be sure nothing gets by him.

I know this from working in the Law and Legislative Reference Library when he was in the Legislature.

If Michaud finds something in a trade agreement or its “side agreements” that he believes isn’t good for American companies and American workers, others would be well-advised to look into the issue before going out on a limb to endorse that agreement — as the papers did in that editorial.

Jane Edwards


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