Clinton and Obama on NAFTA

March 21, 2008
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Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama suggested to voters before the Ohio primary election early this month that the North American Free Trade Agreement should be renegotiated because Rust Belt workers are getting a raw deal.

The extent to which Clinton and Obama talk about NAFTA in Indiana before our own primary on May 6 remains to be seen, but an Indiana University international business professor doubts the candidates believe their own words.

Alan Rugman, a Canadian who helped the government there negotiate the 1994 agreement, says just about everyone knowledgeable about trade knows the agreement is helping all three countries.

Manufacturing was moving to Mexico and elsewhere long before the deal was signed by then-President Bill Clinton, Rugman says, so the pact only formalized a reality.

He says NAFTA helped Canada, Mexico and the United States keep up with the rising regional powerhouses of Europe and Asia, and that the 1,000-page agreement is crafted so well that â??thereâ??s nothing to rewrite.â??

Few of the manufacturing jobs that have been lost to Mexico and now China and elsewhere are coming back, and Clinton and Obama know it, Rugman says. â??You canâ??t pay people in Ohio a $150,000 subsidy to have a manufacturing job.â??

What do you think?
  • If the candidates don't believe their own words, how can we OR why should we. And, if Obama doesn't believe the words of his own pastor, whom he has been listening to for 20 years, how can we expect, why should we believe anything Obama says?

    This man represents an evil we don't even begin to understand........
  • The Man (Obama) does not 'represent an evil we don't even begin to understand...
    That's ridiculous talk. He's a Politician. He speaks verbose words just like most Politicians who speak the rhetoric without a comprehensive plan.
  • Interesting.... so Obama should go to his pastor for political advise...

    ... later at the catholic church ...
    Father, forgive me, for I have sinned... I have been coding in the wrong compter language... can you advise me on what I should do for my web development job.

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