Yes, Hillary may have been for NAFTA before she was against it, but I'm pretty sure this applies to a large majority of the original NAFTA-boosters. And nevertheless, she voted for some NAFTA expansions, agreements that were almost word for word NAFTA or even worse, with Chile, Singapore, Australia, Morocco, Bahrain and Oman.
Obama has also denounced NAFTA in ads, in stump speeches and more, but he has also wavered, casting NAFTA expansion votes for the Bahrain and Oman FTAs.
So now what? We could, like many other blogs out there from which I'm gradually losing my vision from reading endless comments, speculate about how much of a liar either candidate is or how this is some plot to distract from Obama's "Wright" situation. But instead, it might just be better to move on and ask "what's next?" No, really. I mean I'm as partisan as the next DC partisan, but let's not dwell on this and instead do what progressives do, look ahead to what can happen with our economy, with human rights and with our foreign policy through changes to our trade policy.
And that's what both Obama and Clinton have proposed: substantial changes and new trade policies that address a lot of the problems that exist because of NAFTA and NAFTA-style agreements.
I encourage onlookers to NAFTA-gate and Clinton's records release to take a step back and really ask:
- What do they say they will do when they get to the White House? and
- How can I make sure they stick to what they say?
This is what economic justice advocates should be thinking about now and every day until Inauguration Day. Instead of debating minute differences and comparing past positions to new better informed trade positions, think about where we are now and what's next for our trade policy. Discuss in comments.
(Disclosure: Global Trade Watch has no preference among the candidates.)