Andy, you've got a point. The textile industry has been in trouble for quite a while, due in part to innovation. When a machine can do the job that once took 30 people to do, you're going to have layoffs. And yes, the fact that American consumers are more interested in price than quality has made the problem even worse. You'll see that reflected in the furniture industry. There's no doubt that NC makes some of the highest-quality furniture in the country, yet China is beating the pants off us with their cheap goods. (I believe Americans have a "temporary" mind-set that has created this problem, but that's a discussion for another day.)
But we've got to admit that NAFTA was the final straw. Where factories might have experienced gradual layoffs and downsizing, NAFTA caused them to close down all together. And they all closed in mass! We have displaced an entire segment of our state's population in a matter of 2 years. There was no time to prepare ourselves.
If we use NAFTA's effects as an example, shouldn't CAFTA cause similar problems?