Friday, August 13, 2010

No, NAFTA Was Not President Clinton's Idea

(A reply to a comment on an article, "Rebuild America, Don't Sack It," by Robert L. Borosage, at the Huffington Post.)

Yes, Clinton signed NAFTA into law, but it was largely an initiative by Republican politicians, with George H.W. Bush out in front signing the initial draft. Republican politicians then positioned NAFTA as do or die for the American economy, and anyone who opposes it is an un-American, big government, anti-jobs, socialist.

I'll quote a bit of Wikipedia (
"In the U.S., Bush, who had worked to 'fast track' the signing prior to the end of his term, ran out of time and had to pass the required ratification and signing into law to incoming president Bill Clinton. Prior to sending it to the House of Representatives, Clinton introduced clauses to protect American workers and allay the concerns of many House members. It also required U.S. partners to adhere to environmental practices and regulations similar to its own."

And this was after the private equity, leveraged buyout, asset stripping frenzy of the tax and tariff-cutting Reagan years during which much of the U.S. industrial base was sold off for pennies on the dollar, and its jobs sent overseas by capitalized investors, who tend to vote Republican.

(And no, not everyone who votes Republican should be demonized, but it mostly Republican politicians who legislate in favor of a minority: capitalized investors; at the expense of the majority: hourly workers)
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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