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How the 'Losers' in America’s Trade Policies Got Left Behind

The Atlantic's Alana Semuels discusses the struggle of America's forgotten workers

Economists have repeatedly said that trade deals create winners and losers. Yet despite this known dichotomy, America has done little to help the disaffected people across the country whose livelihoods have disappeared.

Richard Baumcratz is still puzzling over how that came to be. As an officer in the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers Union, he represents about 400 workers who for decades made glass containers such as beverage bottles and pickle jars in a factory owned by a company called Owens-Illinois located in Clarion, Pennsylvania. In 2010, the company said it would close the plant as part of a move to consolidate inefficient factories in North America and expand into emerging markets.

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