“Now, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll acknowledge that we can’t stop globalization in its tracks and that opening new markets to our goods can help strengthen our economy. But what I refuse to accept is that we have to sign trade deals like the South Korea Agreement that are bad for American workers. What I oppose – and what I have always opposed – are trade deals that put the interests of multinational corporations ahead of the interests of Americans workers – like NAFTA, and CAFTA, and permanent normal trade relations with China.”(Remarks to the AFL-CIO)
China eventually joined WTO because the US Congress agreed that the USA, like all other countries, should extend WTO’s ‘most favored nation’ treatment (called ‘permanent normal trade relations’ in the US law) to China. It was the only choice that made sense, then or now, in economic or foreign policy terms. It was a massive, direct and immediate benefit to US consumers (and a win for poor people in China, too).
But Barack Obama promises that he would not have taken that decision—a promise I find difficult to believe—because it was made in ‘the interests of multinational corporations’: a proposition that deserves no credit whatever.
I found a reference to Obama’s speech containing this awful idea on Ben Muse’s site: The Customs House.