The new oil and gas production in the United States was supposed to solve the trade deficit problem, and it did decrease the trade deficit by a small amount, but the trade deficit has begun to rise again. Since we are borrowing from foreign public and private sources to pay for the trade deficit, and to pay for the interest of various kinds on money previously borrowed, our debt to foreign lenders is increasing rapidly and is compounded. Borrowing to create new production capacity is one thing. However, when an individual, a business, or a nation borrows in a major way to pay for consumption, and then borrows to pay all the interest on old debt, that leads to bankruptcy, or a finessed equivalent to bankruptcy. The American economy will end up being wrecked if we don't eliminate the trade deficit, and that would be especially difficult for people because becoming poor after having had a good income is worse than being poor from birth. Yet, with this looming in the future, voters aren't pushing the government to solve the problem. One solution would be an international minimum wage equal to the American minimum wage, because that would make American labor competitive. It is doubtful that all nations would get on board a proposal to create an international minimum wage, but there is an alternative. I am calling the alternative option an "international trade minimum wage", and it could be established unilaterally by just the United States. The international trade minimum wage legislation would establish a requirement that any business would have to follow in order to do any business in the United States. A business which didn't meet the international trade minimum wage requirement could not sell products nor services in the United States, nor could it have its products nor services sold in the United States by a third party. The trade minimum wage would be equal to the American minimum wage. The requirement would be that any business, domestic or foreign, would be required to pay its lowest paid employee anywhere in the world the American minimum wage or more. This requirement could not be considered to be a violation of any trade agreements because the requirement would be exactly the same for both domestic and foreign businesses. There is precedent. Nations levy sales taxes on both domestic and imported products. No one would try to demand that a nation could only levy sales taxes on domestic products, while allowing imports to be sold without the sales tax. The obvious counterargument would be that that would make imported products more expensive. However, American wages would adjust so that it would do no harm to the standard of living of Americans. The historical data is that in the most recent years when the American economy was self-sufficient, Americans had a somewhat higher standard of living than we do now. So even if we didn't have cheap imports, we could still have a high standard of living. Note also that the cheap imports aren't really as inexpensive as we think they are. The reason is that the economy has borrowed money from foreign lenders to pay for the cheap imports. We are all part of the American economy, so what happens to the American economy in the long run happens to us. What is happening is that, after we pay for an imported product at a store, we still owe money on it as part of the American economy, because the economy has borrowed from foreign lenders. Furthermore, we have to pay interest on the loan as part of the American economy. That means that we will have a lower standard of living in the future. So the imports we buy aren't really as inexpensive as it looks from just the store price. If on the other hand, we were to buy somewhat more expensive American made products, that money would go directly to our businesses, which would then be able to hire more people, and pay them higher wages. The higher future wages would make it possible for people to buy just as many American made products as the imports they could buy when they had a lower income. To avoid disruptions, an international minimum wage would need to be phased in somewhat gradually. Probably it would be adequate if the trade minimum wage would be 20% of the American minimum wage the first year, 40% of the American minimum wage the second year, 60% of the American minimum wage the third year, 80% of the American minimum wage the fourth year, and 100% of the American minimum wage for all future years. This would not harm other nations, but would rather help other nations, so once they understand that, they would have no grounds to protest the international trade minimum wage. What would happen is that as their wages were increased due to the trade minimum wage, they would be able to buy more goods and services in their own nations, and that would cause new and additional economic growth of their own nations. It could work out for trade also. With a higher standard of living in foreign nations, they could buy more American made products,which would make it possible for us to buy more imports again. What is important is for America to not have a trade deficit so we don't make the debt to foreign lenders worse. But we could have higher trade all around if we had a balance of trade so that we didn't have a deficit.