Wednesday, February 27, 2008


In lasts night's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were scrambling on top of each other to prove that "each" would eliminate NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) if elected. NAFTA and all other Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are now on the "outs" with all Democrats because of the pressure coming from the labor unions such as the AFL-CIO. The unions blame "this" trade agreement for the loss of high-paying union jobs in America. And this hearkens back to a quote from the Independent candidate for President, Ross Perot, during the 1992 election cycle who said that there will be the "giant sucking sound" as we lose jobs and money to Mexico and Canada if NAFTA is approved. Lost in this debate is the fact that President Bill Clinton "and" a Democratic Controlled Congress approved NAFTA; an achievement Bill Clinton had always pointed to in his "legacy" of accomplishments.

The question of whether or not union jobs were lost under NAFTA is somewhat disputable. Those jobs might have been lost, anyway, as a result of cheap international labor and all other active foreign trade. What "is" known about NAFTA is that the previous trade barriers and other mechanisms that had either blocked or penalized American products were eliminated. As a result, American businesses have substantially increased trade with Canada and Mexico under NAFTA. I find it interesting the State of Ohio, the seat of last night's debate over NAFTA, has benefited the most under this agreement. Since NAFTA was passed, Ohio has quadrupled trade with the NAFTA countries. That means more jobs (maybe, not union) in Ohio and and an increase in revenues which has benefited both the tax coffers of Ohio and our Federal government. Also, NAFTA created "good" jobs in Mexico. And, the more "good" jobs we can create in that country, the slower the influx of illegial aliens across our border for those seeking higher-paying employment in the United States.

Given the tenor of last night's debate over NAFTA, it is obvious that we will see "no" more FTA's approved if we elect a Democrat as President and the Democrats still control both Houses of Congress. Currently, FTA's are being blocked by the Democratic-controlled Congress for Columbia and other Latin American countries. As a result, we will become economic isolationists. And, the result of that will be the continuance of trade barriers against American products and, I believe, the loss of jobs and the loss of taxable business revenues. And, the only "sucking sound" we'll actually hear will be that of Americans left "sucking their thumbs" after the loss of trade in a world where trade is so important to us.

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