Obama would have opposed NAFTA, CAFTA and China’s membership of WTO

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.

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