Hillary supported NAFTA and her sexual predator husband signed it into law. Though she denies she ever supported this radical job-killing, middle-class destroying bill, history proves otherwise.
On March 8, 2014, Huffington Post published an article by Lori Director, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. Her article acknowledges the 20 year anniversary of NAFTA. It’s a blistering criticism of the Clinton bill that essentially killed 1 million jobs and initiated the elimination of the middle class in America.
Listen to President Bill Clinton telling Americans how great NAFTA will be for America just prior to signing the bill:
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Now the same interests that dished out lies to sell NAFTA are at it again to push the TPP, but the difference is that 20 years of the NAFTA experience has turned Americans against these sorts of deals.
And yet…the unions continue to support Crooked Hillary and her morally bankrupt husband with hundred of millions in donations simply because she has a “D” after her name.
My New Year’s celebrations this year were haunted by memories of January 1, 1994 — the day that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect. I remember crying that day, thinking about the proud men and women in union halls across America, the Mexican campesinos and the inspiring Canadian activists I had met during the fight against NAFTA, and hoping desperately that our dire predictions would be proved wrong.
They were not. In short order, the damage started. And, we started to document it.
For NAFTA’s unhappy 20th anniversary, Public Citizen has published a report that details the wreckage. Not only did promises made by NAFTA’s proponents not materialize, but many results are exactly the opposite.
Such outcomes include a staggering $181 billion U.S. trade deficit with NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada and the related loss of 1 million net U.S. jobs under NAFTA, growing income inequality, displacement of more than one million Mexican campesino farmers and a doubling of desperate immigration from Mexico, and more than $360 million paid to corporations after “investor-state” tribunal attacks on, and rollbacks of, domestic public interest policies.
The study makes for a blood-boiling read. For instance, we track the specific promises made by U.S. corporations like GE, Chrysler and Caterpillar to create specific numbers of American jobs if NAFTA was approved, and reveal government data showing that instead, they fired U.S. workers and moved operations to Mexico.
The data also show how post-NAFTA trade and investment trends have contributed to middle-class pay cuts, which in turn contributed to growing income inequality; how since NAFTA, U.S. trade deficit growth with Mexico and Canada has been 45 percent higher than with countries not party to a U.S. Free Trade Agreement, and how U.S. manufacturing exports to Canada and Mexico have grown at less than half the pre-NAFTA rate.
As first lady, Hillary Clinton publicly supported her husband’s position. In 1996, in a visit with unionized garment workers, she said the words Obama now quotes. “I think everybody is in favor of free and fair trade. I think NAFTA is proving its worth,” said Clinton, according to an Associated Press report.
Clinton wrote positively of her husband’s efforts on NAFTA in her memoir “Living History,” published in 2003:
“Creating a free trade zone in North America — the largest free trade zone in the world — would expand U.S. exports, create jobs and ensure that our economy was reaping the benefits, not the burdens, of globalization. Although unpopular with labor unions, expanding trade opportunities was an important administration goal.”
During a 2004 teleconference on funding cuts for job training, Clinton was asked whether NAFTA should be revisited. She replied, “I think that we have to enforce the trade rules that are inherent” in NAFTA. “I think on balance NAFTA has been good for New York and America, but I also think that there are a number of areas where we’re not dealt with in an upfront way in dealing with our friend to the north, Canada, which seems to be able to come up with a number of rationales for keeping New York agricultural products out of Canada,” she said.
NAFTA’s actual outcomes prove how damaging this type of agreement is for most people, demonstrating why NAFTA should be renegotiated or terminated. The evidence makes clear that we cannot have any more such deals that include job-offshoring incentives, requirements we import food that doesn’t meet our safety standards or new rights for firms to get taxpayer compensation before foreign tribunals for laws they don’t like.
Given NAFTA’s record of damage, it is equal parts disgusting and infuriating that now President Barack Obama has joined the corporate Pinocchios who lied about NAFTA, recycling similar claims to try to sell the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is NAFTA on steroids.
Here’s what Barack Obama had to say about Hillary’s support of NAFTA in 2008 when he was running against her:
As Americans have lived with NAFTA’s effects since its Jan. 1, 1994, start, public opinion has shifted dramatically, from a narrow divide during the 1993 NAFTA debate to overwhelming opposition today. A 2012 Angus Reid Public Opinion poll found that 53 percent of Americans believe the U.S. should “do whatever is necessary” to “renegotiate” or “leave” NAFTA, while only 15 percent believe the U.S. should “continue to be a member of NAFTA.” That opposition cuts across party lines, class divisions and education levels, perhaps explaining the growing controversy over the proposed deepening and expansion of the NAFTA model through the TPP.
Here’s Ross Perot during the presidential election debates in 1992 on NAFTA:
Among the findings of the NAFTA at 20 study:
Rather than creating in any year the net 200,000 jobs per year promised by former President Bill Clinton on the basis of Peterson Institute for International Economics projections, job loss from NAFTA began rapidly:
• American manufacturing jobs were lost as U.S. firms used NAFTA’s new foreign investor privileges to relocate production to Mexico to take advantage of that country’s lower wages and weaker environmental standards. U.S. job erosion worsened as a new flood of NAFTA imports swamped gains in exports, creating a massive new trade deficit that equated to an estimated net loss of one million U.S. jobs by 2004. A small pre-NAFTA U.S. trade surplus of 2.5 billion with Mexico turned into a huge new deficit, and a pre-NAFTA 29.1 billion deficit with Canada exploded. The NAFTA-spurred job loss has not abated during NAFTA’s second decade, as the burgeoning post-NAFTA U.S. trade deficit with Canada and Mexico has not declined.
• More than 845,000 U.S. workers in the manufacturing sector have been certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) since NAFTA because they lost their jobs due to imports from Canada and Mexico or the relocation of factories to those countries. The TAA program is quite narrow, covering only a subset of jobs lost at manufacturing facilities, and is difficult to qualify for. Thus, the NAFTA TAA numbers significantly undercount NAFTA job loss.
NAFTA contributed to downward pressure on U.S. wages and growing income inequality. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, two out of every three displaced manufacturing workers who were rehired in 2012 experienced wage reductions, most of more than 20 percent. As increasing numbers of workers displaced from manufacturing jobs joined the glut of workers competing for non-offshorable, low-skill jobs in sectors such as hospitality and food service, real wages have also fallen in these sectors since NAFTA. The resulting downward pressure on wages has fueled recent growth in income inequality.
Scores of NAFTA countries’ environmental and health laws have been challenged in foreign tribunals through the controversial “investor-state” dispute resolution system. Foreign corporations have extracted more than 360 million in compensation from NAFTA governments via investor-state tribunal challenges against toxics bans, land-use rules, water and forestry policies and more. More than12.4 billion is currently pending in such claims, including challenges of medicine patent policies, a fracking moratorium and a renewable energy program.
The average annual U.S. agricultural trade deficit with Mexico and Canada under NAFTA stands at $800 million, more than twice the pre-NAFTA level. U.S. beef imports from Mexico and Canada, for example, have risen 130 percent since NAFTA. This stands in stark contrast to the promises made to U.S. farmers and ranchers that NAFTA would allow them to export their way to newfound wealth and farm income stability. Despite an overall 188 percent rise in food imports from Canada and Mexico under NAFTA, the average nominal price of food in the United States has jumped 65 percent since NAFTA went into effect.
The reductions in consumer goods prices that have materialized have not been sufficient to offset the losses to wages under NAFTA. U.S. workers without college degrees (63 percent of the workforce) likely have lost a net amount equal to 12.2 percent of their wages under NAFTA-style trade even after accounting for gains from cheaper goods. This net loss means a loss of more than 3,300 per year for a worker earning the median annual wage of 27,500.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of NAFTA’s failure, the Obama administration has made it a priority for this year to sign the TPP, a sweeping pact with 11 Pacific Rim nations premised on expanding the NAFTA model. Past efforts to expand NAFTA throughout Latin America via a Free Trade Area of the Americas and to Asia via an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Free Trade Agreement failed as the major economies in each region sought to avoid the damage they observed NAFTA causing within the United States and Mexico.
Given NAFTA’s devastating outcomes, few of the corporations or think tanks that sold it as a boon for all of us in the 1990s like to talk about it, but the reality is that their promises failed as millions of people were severely harmed.
If there is any upside to NAFTA, let it be that its 20 years of damage helps to build the activism outside, and the sense of political liability inside, Congress that are needed to ensure that Fast Track is permanently dust-binned and the NAFTA model is not expanded through TPP. –Huffington Post