Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards says he wants to replace the empty promise that NAFTA would create millions of jobs with his own promise to be a tough negotiator on trade deals.
On the 14th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Edwards planned to condemn the deal that lowered trade barriers between the United States and Canada and Mexico, arguing that it has paved the way for a series of deals that put the interests of multninational corporations ahead of working families.
“NAFTA was sold to the American people with promises that it would grow the economy and create millions of new jobs. But today, we know those promises were empty,” he said in remarks prepared for delivery at a town hall forum in Derry. “In all three countries, it has hurt workers and families while helping corporate insiders.”
The former North Carolina senator said more than 5 million American jobs have gone overseas since President Bush took office, and that up to 30 million more could follow in the next decade.
“The folks in Washington say that trade is good for the economy, even if it hurts a few ‘losers,'” he said. “That’s the word they use, losers, and it tells you something about how they see regular American workers and families who are struggling to compete.”
The former North Carolina senator said the effects of NAFTA and other trade deals is evident in New Hampshire’s north country, where several paper mills have closed in recent years. As president, he said he would pursue trade deals that leave most families better off and that include strong labor and environmental standards.
Edwards also has said he would make enforcing trade laws a greater priority and eliminate tax incentives that encourage U.S. companies to move overseas.
Source: Associated Press