The Second Battle of NAFTA
If Canada and Mexico do not
renegotiate NAFTA, said
Hillary Clinton in the Cleveland debate, she would
"opt out" of the trade treaty that was the
legislative altarpiece of Bill Clinton`s presidency.
Barack agreed. NAFTA is renegotiated, or NAFTA is gone.
Barack went further. He has
denounced "open trucking," the feature of NAFTA
Mexican trucks are to be free to roam the United
States and compete with the Teamsters of
Jim Hoffa`s union,
which just endorsed him.
The trade issue is back, big-time.
For to blue-collar workers in industrial states like
Ohio, NAFTA is a code word for betrayal—a sellout of
them and their families to CEOs panting to
move production out of the United States to
cheap-labor countries like
Our workers` instincts are backed up
by stats. In 2007, the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico
soared 16 percent to $73 billion, a record. Mexico now
ships more cars to us now than we ship to the world. And
where did Mexico get an auto industry?
The U.S. trade deficit with China
shot up 10 percent to $256 billion, the largest trade
deficit ever between any two countries.
In manufactures, the United States
had a trade deficit of $499 billion in 2007, a slight
improvement over the $526 billion record in 2006. Yet
that trade deficit in manufactured goods with the world
is more than twice as large as our $224 billion bill for
Under Bush, the U.S. trade deficit
has doubled. Three million manufacturing jobs have
vanished. And America has begun to run a trade deficit
in advanced technology goods of more than $50 billion.
Our trade deficit in advanced
technology goods with China is $67 billion, eight times
what it is with
"Free trade is essential to the creation of high-paying
Bush on Thursday. But if exports create jobs (and
they do), imports displace them. And if we import half a
trillion dollars more in manufactures than we export, is
not Bush trade policy literally slaughtering industrial
Is there not a correlation between
$4.3 trillion in trade deficits under Bush, the 3
million manufacturing jobs lost under Bush, the fall of
the dollar by 50 percent against the euro under Bush and
the resurgence of inflation, signaled by a quadrupling
of the price of gold, under Bush?
Neither Hillary nor Obama has laid
out a new trade-and-tax policy to deal with the
de-industrialization of America and our deepening
dependency on foreign technology, manufactures and the
loans to pay for them. But at least they are listening
to the country.
John McCain seems blind and deaf to
the crisis. In Michigan, he informed autoworkers their
"jobs are not coming back" and
explained his philosophy: "I`m a student of
history. Every time the United States has become
protectionist … we`ve paid a very heavy price."
This is ahistorical nonsense. From
1860 to 1913, the United States was the most
protectionist nation on earth and produced the most
awesome growth of any nation in history. In 1860, the
U.S. economy was half of Britain`s; in 1913, more than
In 1920, Warren Harding and
Calvin Coolidge won a landslide, cut income taxes
from Wilson`s 69 percent to 25 percent and doubled
America went on a tear. When Coolidge went home in
1929, the United States was producing 42 percent of the
world`s manufactured goods.
Alexander Hamilton and James Madison
moved the Tariff Act of 1789 through Congress. Aided by
John Calhoun, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams,
President Madison enacted the
Tariff of 1816 to protect U.S. infant industries
from British dumping.
Abraham Lincoln used
Morrill Tariff revenue to fight the Civil War. The
11 GOP presidents who followed, from 1865 to 1929, all
protectionists, made America the greatest industrial
power in history, with a standard of living never before
seen. Mocking protectionism, McCain is repudiating
Republican history and all its achievements up to the
era of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.
America rose to power behind a Republican tariff wall.
What has free trade wrought? Lost sovereignty. A sinking
dollar. A hollowing out of U.S. manufacturing. Stagnant
wages. Wives forced into the labor market to maintain
the family income. Mass indebtedness to foreign nations,
and a deepening dependency on foreign goods and
borrowings to pay for them. We have sacrificed our
country on the altar of this Moloch, the mythical Global
It took Rip Van Republican 20 years
to wake up to the disaster of open borders and five
years to realize the folly of igniting wars in which no
vital interest was at risk.
How long before the GOP wakes up to
the reality that globalism is not conservatism, never
was, but is a pillar of Wilsonian liberalism, in whose
faux conservatives now daily labor.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to VDARE.COM readers;
his book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America, can be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How Britain Lost Its
Empire and the West Lost the World,
Paul Craig Roberts.