Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hillary Clinton calls NAFTA a mistake.

Senator Clinton now says that the North American Free Trade Agreement was a mistake. However, many credit NAFTA with the economic boom that took place during her husband's administration. Most of the frontrunners in this race, including the GOP's Mike Huckabee, are pandering to popular protectionist pressure in the presidential primary. I have singled out Mrs. Clinton for criticism because she ought to know better. But if she does the right thing and backs free trade again after the election, whether she does so as a President or a Senator, I promise that I will refrain from calling her a flip-flopper. Instead I will congratulate her on realizing her mistake and making the correction.

6 comments:

Jeff Pruitt said...

NAFTA is Free Trade?

I don't think so. Just because the acronym uses the term Free Trade doesn't make it so. I'm not surprised when people like Thomas Friedman are bamboozled by such acronym-wizardry but I didn't think it would fool you too

NAFTA was a huge mistake...

Robert Enders said...

It is free trade in the sense that the United States is a free country. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as free trade or a free country. NAFTA, while far from perfect, has made trade more free.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I am with Jeff Pruitt on this one. NAFTA is NOT free trade...

Mike Sylvester

J Q Taxpayer said...

NAFTA was never about free trade. It was about making a bigger buck.

I agree with Jeff Pruitt also.

Mike Kole said...

If free trade were the deal, than this treaty called NAFTA would not have been necessary- free trade being the absence of barriers and all. If this treaty merely stripped the barriers, tariffs, and other hindrances to trade, it could rightly be called a 'free trade' treaty. Alas. It is re-regulation, just as surely as the badly mis-named 'deregulation' of utilities is nothing of the sort, and the same kind of re-regulation as NAFTA is.

Look into it a bit more, Robert.

As for Milton Friedman, I was surprised when he was all ga-ga for this. While he certainly was an incrementalist towards greater freedom, I think he was too happy to cheer the parts of this deal that did make trade more free, while self-blinding to the parts that didn't.

Come on, Robert. You know as well as anybody that when our federal government produces law, no matter how good some parts are, there will invariably be crap attached.

Robert Enders said...

I am not an incrementalist myyself, but I will still take what I can get.

I shall put it to you this way. NAFTA is free trade in the sense that the United States was a free country at the time of its founding. Only a handful of Americans could vote at the time. But previously, nobody could vote at all. It was a huge step in the right direction.

NAFTA is a tiny step in the right direction.