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John McCain Lies About Clinton And Obama’s Position On NAFTA
Posted on March 1st, 2008 by John Ehrenfeld -

At a town-hall meeting in Texas on Friday, corporate lobbyists best friend John McCain decided to emphasize his support for NAFTA. That's fine John, that’s certainly your right to embrace a treaty that has cost thousands of American jobs. But do you have to lie when you do so?

McCain said in his comments that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement which would jeopardize crucial military support from Canada.

We need our Canadian friends, and we need their continued support in Afghanistan. So what do we do? The two Democratic candidates for president say they're going to unilaterally abrogate NAFTA.

What happened to that straight talk John, you’re in danger of losing your street cred. Too many martinis with the K street boys? Or perhaps lingering senior naps in the sweltering Arizona sun haved dulled your senses. The truth, is that neither Clinton or Obama said they would abrogate NAFTA. You see, the word abrogate means to abolish or repeal and they never said such a thing.

What Obama and Clinton actually said, was that they would "renegotiate" NAFTA and would threaten to opt out of the agreement unless Canada and Mexico come to the negotiating table. Here are their exact quotes. Clinton then Obama.

I will say we will opt out of NAFTA unless we renegotiate it, and we renegotiate on terms that are favorable to all of America.

I will make sure that we renegotiate. I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced.

Tell the truth John and while you're at it, tell the people of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas why you don't give a damn about them losing their jobs.

Viewing 4 Comments

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    Groucho Marx was joking, but also prescient about John McCain:

    "Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others."
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    I don't agree with war but I do not think a world without it is ever going to happen unfortunately. He's thinking smart - and I have to say I'd much rather have him in office than Hilary with her scary medical care plan. We won't ever be going to war with her because we'll all die from disease.
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    John McCain is clearly focused on one thing and one thing only - WAR. He lives for it, he loves it, he's obsessed by it, it is his entire identity. He is a Post Traumatic Stress hot-headed and unstable lunatic who cares nothing about the will of the American people. He is loyal to his backers and his backers make a killing off of war, war and more war. It just so happens those are all of John McCain's personal interests as well. He's no sell out. He is a man of passion. And if elected, he will deliver.

    In his own words, "Friends, I want to give you some straight talk. Friends, there are going to be more wars. I'm sorry to tell you, but there are going to be more wars...". Wow. Interesting Foriegn Policy approach there, John.

    After 2004 it became apparent to me what I had been trying to forget after the 2000 election, that much of America is just plain stupid. It would be foolish to under-estimate their stpuidity this time around. McCain, like Bush before him, can win. We cannot let that happen.

    Unfortunately Hilary Clinton represents the exact same special interests that McCain does. They should run on the same ticket.

    There is only one serious contender who is sane and that is Barack Obama. If you measure who the best candidate is by body count, consider that over 1.1 million people have died as the result of the Iraqi invasion. Consider also that Hilary and McCain pushed this forward every step of the way and remember that only Barack had the decency and good common sense to oppose this needless invasion from the very start, even when it was unpopular.

    Someone who speaks in straight talk doesn't have to keep reminding you that it's straight talk. They just speak the truth. And that is why my vote is enthusiastically for Barack Obama this election season.
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    While there has been some media coverage of NAFTA's ruinous impact on US industrial communities, there has been even less media attention paid to its catastrophic effects in Mexico:

    NAFTA, by permitting heavily-subsidized US corn and other agri-business products to compete with small Mexican farmers, has driven the Mexican farmer off the land due to low-priced imports of US corn and other agricultural products. Some 2 million Mexicans have been forced out of agriculture, and many of those that remain are living in desperate poverty. These people are among those that cross the border to feed their families. (Meanwhile, corn-based tortilla prices climbed by 50%. No wonder many so Mexican peasants have called NAFTA their 'death warrant.'

    NAFTA's service-sector rules allowed big firms like Wal-Mart to enter the Mexican market and, selling low-priced goods made by ultra-cheap labor in China, to displace locally-based shoe, toy, and candy firms. An estimated 28,000 small and medium-sized Mexican businesses have been eliminated.

    Wages along the Mexican border have actually been driven down by about 25% since NAFTA, reported a Carnegie Endowment study. An over-supply of workers, combined with the crushing of union organizing drives as government policy, has resulted in sweatshop pay running sweatshops along the border where wages typically run 60 cents to $1 an hour...

    But Mexicans must still contend with the results of the American-owned 'maquiladora' sweatshops: subsistence-level wages, pollution, congestion, horrible living conditions (cardboard shacks and open sewers), and a lack of resources (for streetlights and police) to deal with a wave of violence against vulnerable young women working in the factories. The survival (or less) level wages coupled with harsh working conditions have not been the great answer to Mexican poverty, while they have temporarily been the answer to Corporate America's demand for low wages.

    With US firms unwilling to pay even minimal taxes, NAFTA has hardly produced the promised uplift in the lives of Mexicans. Ciudad Juarez Mayor Gustavo Elizondo, whose city is crammed with US-owned low-wage plants, expressed it plainly: "We have no way to provide water, sewage, and sanitation workers. Every year, we get poorer and poorer even though we create more and more wealth."

    Falling industrial wages, peasants forced off the land, small businesses liquidated, growing poverty: these are direct consequences of NAFTA. This harsh suffering explains why so many desperate Mexicans -- lured to the border area in the false hope that they could find dignity in the US-owned maquiladoras -- are willing to risk their lives to cross the border to provide for their families. There were 2.5 million Mexican illegals in 1995; 8 million have crossed the border since then. In 2005, some 400 desperate Mexicans died trying to enter the US.

    NAFTA failed to curb illegal immigration precisely because it was never designed as a genuine development program crafted to promote rising living standards, health care, environmental cleanup, and worker rights in Mexico. The wholesale surge of Mexicans across the border dramatically illustrates that NAFTA was no attempt at a broad uplift of living conditions and democracy in Mexico, but a formula for government-sanctioned corporate plunder benefiting elites on both sides of the border.
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