HILLARY CLINTON’S and Barack Obama’s criticisms of NAFTA make it seem like the U.S. is the biggest loser. ADAM TURL sets the record straight.
HILLARY CLINTON and Barack Obama are waging rhetorical war on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)–the free trade deal shepherded through Congress and signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1993.
While NAFTA was initially sold as a way to create new jobs in the U.S. and Canada and help Mexico modernize its economy (thereby preventing undocumented immigration to the U.S.), in truth, the agreement lowered wages in the U.S. and opened up Mexico’s economy to restructuring for the benefit of U.S. companies–at the expense of ordinary people in Mexico.
In the lead-up to the critical March 4 primary vote in Ohio, Clinton and Obama tried to outdo each other to reflect workers’ frustrations with NAFTA.
Obama told a group of unionists that he refused “to accept that we have to stand idly by while workers watch their jobs get shipped overseas.” Hillary Clinton declared, “If you travel through Youngstown, and you travel through communities in my home state of Illinois, you will see entire cities that have been devastated as a consequence of trade agreements.”
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