Category Archives: NAFTA

Contact your congress critters!

From Public Citizen:

The Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, sponsored by fair trade champions Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine), was first introduced last year and eventually gained 80 House and Senate cosponsors. This landmark legislation sets forth in concrete, detailed terms a progressive vision for good trade agreements in the future and criteria to renegotiate existing failed pacts like NAFTA and the WTO.

Watch Global Trade Watch’s Director Lori Wallach discuss our strategy for building a new trade and globalization agenda in 2009.

The form to fill out is located here on their site.

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Talk about smoke and mirrors…Jesus H. Christ give me a break!

Click for larger bloggy goodness

The GOP, and by proxy, John McCain are pointing to the wealthiest county in all of the U.S. as a means to prove our economy is just fucking ducky and NAFTA works. David Sirota’s “Trade Report” for OurFuture.org has some simply friggin amazing stuff in it. From the linkage above:

The New York Times Magazine this week publishes an article by David Leonhardt attempting to explain Barack Obama’s fundamental economic ideology. To echo Philip Seymour Hoffman in Almost Famous, “it’s a think-piece about a mid-level band struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom.” And, indeed, many of its passages should make Wall Streeters wet themselves. Within the first nine paragraphs, for instance, Leonhardt bills Citigroup Chairman Bob Rubin the “center,” despite his deregulatory and pro-NAFTA policies lying far outside the center of American public opinion. That said, the article provides some interesting insights into what Obama will – and will not – do as president.

Another gem, The Roanoke Times has an article up that explores how Obama is stumping in one of the worst hit cities with regard to NAFTA in VA, and how the Rethugs are taunting him to come talk about the horrors of NAFTA in, of all places, Fairfax County.

I lived in Fairfax county. It IS the top rated city for rich folks, believe me. With it’s close proximity to DC, just over the river, Fairfax residents, for the most part, LOVE the shit out of NAFTA. Rethug Tommy Davis is retiring but lobbed out this tidbit with regard to Fairfax county and NAFTA:

“What would be courageous is to come to Fairfax County, where you have 362 foreign-owned companies and tens of thousands of employees with foreign-owned firms … and take the same stand up here,” said Davis, who is retiring from Congress. (emphasis mine)

The operative word there is ‘foreign-owned’. Not American-owned..fucking foreign. Evidently that irony escapes the Republicans..as Sirota notes:

Besides the tone deafness of holding up foreign-owned firms as proof of a solid domestic economy, Davis forgot to mention that according to Forbes magazine, Fairfax County has long been the wealthiest county in the United States – a place where the median (the median!) household income is over $100,000 a year. The county is home to many of the millionaire corporate lobbyists that have been instrumental in the passage of rigged trade deals. Davis citing Fairfax County today as proof that trade policies are working for the vast majority of the country would be like FDR citing the Rockefeller family during the Great Depression as proof that the economy was working for most Americans.

Love it, especially the last line. 😉 The next part is sure to jack some jaws. Obama is ass-kissing some of the worst of the worst on Wall Street, namely the same captains of industry that oppose changing NAFTA one iota. From Sirota again:

As reported last week, Obama’s campaign is quietly courting the same CEOs that oppose trade policy reform. While there are certainly huge differences on trade between Obama and McCain’s stated positions, the two campaigns are both being advised by top executives from UBS, one of the largest investment banks in the world. Indeed, the McCain campaign continues to solicit advice from UBS vice-chairman Phil Gramm, while the Obama campaign has long been shaped by Gramm’s UBS boss, Robert Wolf. That kind of Wall Street influence will likely make a fair trade agenda much more difficult in 2009.

Make it difficult? Hell, it will make change impossible dude. The final subject tackled by Sirota in his piece is the much-hated (by me anyway) DLC and their bullshit express:

Ripping a page straight out of George W. Bush’s playbook, the Democratic Leadership Council this week attempted to justify its corporate sponsors’ trade agenda by writing a Wall Street Journal op-ed insisting that NAFTA-style trade deals fight Islamic terrorism. Yes – you read that right, and the DLC wasn’t joking. They really want America to believe that passing trade deals that are unpopular both here and abroad is the way to stop Al Qaeda.

In fact, the BBC’s landmark 2008 poll undercuts the DLC’s fact-free rhetoric with hard data. The survey of international opinion shows widespread unease with the United States’ trade and globalization policies – and that unease is particularly acute in the Middle East, where the DLC claims that NAFTA-style policies will stop terrorism.

As I have said before and I will scream it again…the DLC is not our friend. Never has been and never will be people. To say NAFTA will stop terrorism is fucking outrageous and yes, George Bush-league material. One only needs to look at the economy in Mexico to see that NAFTA hasn’t done squat for the common man and woman there. Oh, but the drug cartels are flourishing.

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Mark Penn resigns as Chief Strategist for Camp Hillary


From MSNBC:

From NBC’s Mark Murray and John Boxley Mark Penn, who recently met with the Colombian government regarding a trade deal that Hillary Clinton opposes, has resigned his post as the Clinton campaign’s chief strategist.

“After the events of the last few days, Mark Penn has asked to give up his role as chief strategist of the Clinton campaign,” campaign manager Maggie Williams said in a statement. “Mark, and Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates, Inc. will continue to provide polling and advice to the campaign.

Williams added, “Geoff Garin and Howard Wolfson will coordinate the campaign’s strategic message team going forward.

Per sources in the campaign, Hillary Clinton was disappointed with Penn’s meeting with the Colombian government. She is a big opponent of the trade pact. Penn knew that he had made error in judgment and realized over the weekend that he would need to step down as chief strategist.

Clinton agreed.

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Chinese Economy is strong, while ours is in the toilet

I find it interesting that the Chinese economy has a fifth straight year of double digit growth..and ours is struggling to stay out of a recession. From the VOA writeup:

The 11.4 percent growth in China’s economy last year was the greatest in 13 years.

Xie Fuzhan, the commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, announced the annual economic figures in Beijing Thursday.

Xie says the second quarter last year saw the highest growth, of 11.9 percent. That eased to 11.2 percent in the fourth quarter, indicating a modest slowdown.

The government has been trying for the past few years to moderate economic growth. But a number of measures, including several increases in interest rates last year, have failed to make much of an impact on the roaring economy.
*snip*
Total trade volume rose 23.5 percent, and the already huge trade surplus – which has prompted heated disputes with the United States and the European Union – rose by almost 50 percent to $262 billion.

They can thank NAFTA for at least part of that growth don’t ya think?

Edit: It has just been pointed out to me that NAFTA has nothing to do with China(duh North American Free Trade)..but the WTO does, not to mention all the “free trade” bs.

Hillary hearts big business which means she loves NAFTA with all her heart.

David Sirota has a piece up about Hillary’s position on NAFTA and the new NAFTA expansion the Senate will vote on next week. He made a YouTube vid of her response last night in the latest round of Presidential debates held on CNN.

Hillary is a DINO for the most part. She is a Rethug in Democratic clothing on many of the important issues. NAFTA expansion is one of THE most important domestic issues facing us today. NAFTA has affected our workforce as no other bill passed by our congress ever has in the last decade or so.. imho.