As Alex Seitz-Wald at Think Progress reports, possible Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is saying NAFTA worked because it created jobs in Mexico. On a call in show, Gingrich said:
CALLER: Back in the ’90s I remember Ross Perot saying that there was going to be the giant sucking sound of jobs if NAFTA passed. I think it ended up being true, right? And I know you were a big free trader.
GINGRICH: Yeah, well, I don’t think it was true in Mexico. I think the fact is that NAFTA allowed us to build jobs in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, in competition with China. I mean, our big competitor is not Mexico. Our big competitor is China and India. And I’d rather have jobs close to the United States than have jobs overseas in places like China and India. That’s why I was in favor of it. … So in a sense, I’d like our neighborhood to be fairly well off and fairly prosperous.
I doubt too many fair trade Tea Party folk will rally behind a guy who shows so little concerns for "Making it in America."
Moreover, as EOT readers know, it's false that NAFTA has somehow benefited Mexico at the expense of the United States: it has been lose-lose for working people in both nations.
Today's revelation that the Pentagon is flying drones over Mexico to track down narcotraffickers is just the latest revelation that NAFTA prioritized the corporate bottomline at the expense of sustainable, non-drug related job creation.
(Disclosure: Public Citizen has no preference among the candidates for public office.)