Here's what happened this week with trade on the trail:
"How pro-NAFTA was and is Hillary Clinton?" asks The New Republic:
The idea that she betrayed her own record by disavowing NAFTA is historically inaccurate. As Sally Bedell Smith's new biography of the Clintons, For Love of Politics, reminds us:
"Liberal Democrats, including Hillary, opposed it primarily because it could take jobs away from American workers. But as an advocate of global economic cooperation, Bill was drawn to its free-trade philosophy."
It is likely that her disagreement with Bill wasn't purely philosophical. Press reports from the time suggest that Hillary judged the politics of the situation differently: She thought a push for NAFTA would alienate the Democratic base, and that--in turn--would drain away resources and support from her health care initiative.
The Miami Herald talks about John Edwards' bid for rural voters:
"Hillary Clinton and the Clintons just flat put the screws to rural America, including NAFTA," Dave "Mudcat" Saunders, a senior Edwards advisor, said in an interview. "Hillary likes to talk about the jobs they created. The truth of the matter, here in Iowa, there were twice as many jobs lost as there were gained."
There's a populist element to Edwards' campaign that several Iowans liken to their own senator, Tom Harkin. Edwards rails against big corporate farm interests, which he says are hurting the small farmer.
And Investors Business Daily details this week's labor endorsements.
Huckabee, in an interview with WorldNetDaily talked about the importance of sovereignty in the wake of trade agreements:
WorldNetDaily: At what point do agreements with other nations begin endangering the sovereignty of the United States, such as the Security and Prosperity Partnership, NAFTA highways and the like
Huckabee: I'm the only candidate that I'm aware of that's come out strongly against the Law of the Sea Treaty. Also I'm strongly opposed to any treaty, any agreement, any accord, that would make us subject to any law other than the Constitution of the United States. A treaty ought to be an agreement that operated within the context of recognizing our own sovereignty as a nation, and the supreme law of our Constitution and our court. Further, I think judges ought to be impeached who use international law as the basis for making court decisions in the U.S.
And finally from the Baltimore Sun's blog, The Swamp on Ron Paul,
Paul says, the U.S. has no place in the United Nations. Speaking out against free trade treaties such as NAFTA and CAFTA, the congressman said: “I do not believe we should be in any of those organizations, including the United Nations.’’
And that's it for this week for Trade on the Trail.
Did you hear the candidates say something about trade this week? Add it to the comments!
(Disclosure: Global Trade Watch has no preference among the candidates.)