[Homestead] Politics, it's still the economy, in the rust belt stupid.

Gene GeRue genegerue at ruralize.com
Mon Sep 20 11:52:48 EDT 2004

>Funny thing about the folks from the rust belt, like myself ( from 
>Michigan, family still in the auto industry), is that the single thing 
>they attribute most with the loss of jobs, is the NAFTA agreement Clinton 
>signed. Like you say, they seem to think the guy in the white house is the 
>one to take the credit or heat, and Clinton started this snowball rolling.

Actually, Bush I started the NAFTA snowball rolling.

As a Clinton supporter, I was strongly against NAFTA. I don't recall all 
the politics of it but I think the Pubs were in control of the DC 
Whorehouse at the time.

I looked for it in Clinton's book and found this on page 432:
"In the week leading up to the first [presidential] debate, I finally 
endorsed the controversial North American Free Trade Agreement, which the 
Bush administration had negotiated with Canada and Mexico, with the caveat 
that I wanted to negotiate side agreements ensuring basic labor and 
environmental standards that would be binding on Mexico. My labor 
supporters were worried about the loss of low-wage manufacturing jobs . . . .
Page 540: "On the nineteenth, my forty-seventh birthday, I announced that 
Bill Daley of Chicago would become the chair of our task force on the North 
American Free Trade Agreement. Six days earlier, with Canada and Mexico, we 
had completed the side deals to NAFTA on labor and environmental rights, 
which I had promised in the campaign, as well as one protecting our markets 
from import "surges." Now that they were in place, I was ready to go all 
out to pass NAFTA in the Congress. . . . NAFTA would be a very different 
fight from the budget. A lot of Republicans would support it, and we had to 
find enough Democrats to go along over the objections of the AFL-CIO."

At http://www.ndu.edu/library/n2/n025603H.pdf there is background on NAFTA. 
George H.W. Bush hurried the NAFTA agreement to conclusion before the 
Republican convention, using it to show Clinton as weak on trade issues. It 
would appear that Clinton had to embrace NAFTA to defeat Bush, but he 
managed to get the labor and environmental side agreements in order to have 
the backing he needed.

By the way, while I was digging this out I found that Bush II wants to 
expand NAFTA to include Latin American countries. I also found that of 
those members of the DC Whorehouse who voted for NAFTA, a minority remain. 
So if any president wants to change it, the votes probably exist. But it 
would be bloody; big business was and is the driving force behind trade 

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