The Democrats and NAFTA: full pander-mode

Democrats vs. Trade


Driving this debate is the unpopularity of NAFTA in Ohio. In 2006, Ohioans elected one of the most anti-trade politicians in America, Sherrod Brown, to the U.S. Senate. With these voters at stake, Obama denounced NAFTA (and Hillary’s alleged support for it) during a speech in Lorain Sunday afternoon. "One million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio,” Obama claimed. “And yet, 10 years after NAFTA passed, Sen. Clinton said it was good for America. Well, I don't think NAFTA has been good for America — and I never have.”

But when asked later, Obama said he wouldn’t pull the U.S. out of NAFTA, because doing so “would actually result in more job loss . . . than job gains.” This is true, of course. Even a politician in full pander-mode can’t deny that NAFTA, like any free-trade agreement, created jobs as well as destroyed them. Free trade allows countries to shift resources to where they are most productive relative to the countries they are trading with. We hope that Barack Obama is familiar with the concept of comparative advantage. We hope (audaciously?) that the pursuit of votes rather than gross ignorance has led him into this wilderness of incoherence.

And Hillary? Her reaction to Obama’s attacks is an even more worrying sign that the Democratic party is growing more protectionist. Fearing the credulousness of Ohioans, she has not pushed back against Obama’s economic charlatanism. Indeed, putting her faith in the credulousness of Ohioans, she has called for a “time out” on new trade deals, as if our pending agreements with Colombia and South Korea would deal a staggering blow to Ohio’s economy.

Comment: So Obama is against NAFTA but wouldn't end US's participation in NAFTA! Unfamiliar with the law of comparative advantage? Explained: The Theory of Comparative Advantage - Overview


  1. Wasn't NAFTA imlpemented during Clinton's presidency? Of course she can't say it was a bad idea because she'll be blamed for it since she was "co-president" at that time.

    By the way, Ross Perot was correct in predicting that thousands and thousands of jobs would be lost in America due to NAFTA. You can debate whether that's good or bad (comparative advantage), but I don't think you can deny that fact.

    I find it interesting that Obama would bring up NAFTA and pretend (in my opinion) that he's against it. Everyone knows that America is going to lose the unique sovereignty it's had for the last 200 plus years as we go move into the North American Union. This plan will be implemented no matter who wins the election. To pretend that you're against NAFTA is just plain pandering and being less than honest with the voters, in my opinion.

  2. Less than honest on Hillary's part. I'm shocked. Really. :^)

    My objection to NAFTA (and GATT and the WTO) is simple; they are thousands of pages in length. My brother had a job trying to automate the byzantine regulations of NAFTA and GATT for importers and exporters. Doesn't sound like free trade to me--even the 45% "Tariff of Abominations" that kicked off the Civil War sounds more like free trade than that!

  3. At least your brother's job won't be in any danger any time soon. Most people don't realize that America as a soverign nation is over as we know it, and North America will turn into a North American version of the EU.........To all you naysayers out there who claim this is just wacky conspiracy theory, you can send my your apologies in a few short years.

  4. Actually, he quit that one long ago. Somehow your assurance of rampant bureaucracy is less than comforting to me, though. :^)


Any anonymous comments with links will be rejected. Please do not comment off-topic