Clinton's Problem Child: NAFTA at Three<quoted text>
I have no problem with NAFTA.
I have a problem when you moronic right whiners blame Clinton for it.
Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 18, 1997
You know there's trouble when the President is required by law to make a report to Congress, and it's delayed and then released on a Friday. It means they want the press to bury it.
Such is the case with President Clinton's report on NAFTA, which was released last Friday. When he squeezed NAFTA through Congress, unable to get even a majority of his own party to vote for it, a lot of promises were made. NAFTA was supposed to create jobs, raise living standards on both sides of the border, reduce pressures for illegal immigration, and improve the natural environment.
After three and a half years it is clear that none of these rosy predictions have come to pass. On the contrary, the agreement seems to have worsened the situation on all fronts, and the public has soured on trade agreements in general. A recent poll by Bank of Boston showed Americans believe, by a large margin, that they result in fewer jobs and a worsening trade balance.
President Clinton did his best to put a happy face on the record, emphasizing that US exports increased by 37% from 1993 to 1996, to a record high. But US imports from Mexico have increased more than twice as fast as exports-- so fast that we went from a $1.7 billion trade surplus before NAFTA, to a $17.5 billion deficit with Mexico today.