There’s no doubt that the campaign rhetoric on the Dem side is
continuing the decline of the "wacko free trader" unreality.
But Obama and Clinton were not necessarily leaders in the debate to change trade policy before. This is a point I made yesterday. The NY Times makes the point today. Apparently I am now a driving force in the NY Times trade and campaign coverage decisions! (All laugh now.)
Both voted against the Central
American Free Trade Agreement but supported a trade pact with Peru last
year, citing the inclusion of labor and environmental provisions that
were not part of Nafta.
Opponents, however, said crucial provisions in Nafta that led to jobs
being shipped overseas were also part of the Peru agreement. Mrs.
Clinton and Mr. Obama were also among only a dozen Senate Democrats who
voted for a trade agreement with Oman in 2006.
hedging their bets,” said Representative Marcy Kaptur, an Ohio Democrat
whose district in the northern part of the state has been decimated by
job losses. “They’re trying to have it both ways, and you can’t.”
bottom line,” said Lori Wallach, director of the Global Trade Watch
division of Public Citizen and a fierce free trade foe, “is neither of
the current Democratic candidates were in the category of leaders
fighting for improving U.S. trade policy to try to come up with
different terms for globalization, but in the course of their campaign
they have come to see both the political necessity and the substantive
problems, pushing them to some interesting new thinking.”
Obama from the Ohio debate:
Tuesday’s Democratic debate, Mr. Obama struck a similar balancing act,
saying he did not believe it was possible to “draw a moat around us.”
The "no-moat" policy. I’m not remembering anyone with a moat proposal.
we are left with this. The candidates are doing a climb-down from
destructive trade agreement support, and we should support it. Or
they are 100% pandering. Or both. We know that McCain has not
altered his pro-trade-agreement-no-matter-what-the-agreement-says
policy… despite the fact Republican voters feel otherwise but have little organized voice to press the case.
Let’s hope its an honest climb down. Let’s keep up the pressure to guarantee it.