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February 20, 2009

Change! Obama On NAFTA And Trade

Once upon a time Obama described NAFTA as “devastating” and “a big mistake”. After pointing out that was mere words, he has been continuously shifting to a more reasonable position on trade.

Yesterday his 'evolution' continued as he faced the facts of life as President and having to deal with your largest trading partner. Needless to say NAFTA is suddenly a lot more palatable.

In a joint news conference, Obama said he wants to find a way to keep his campaign pledge to toughen labor and environmental standards -- and told Harper so -- but stressed that nothing should disrupt the free flow of trade between neighbors.

"Now is a time where we've got to be very careful about any signals of protectionism," the president said. "Because, as the economy of the world contracts, I think there's going to be a strong impulse on the part of constituencies in all countries to see if we -- they can engage in beggar-thy-neighbor policies."

The president's message served as a reminder of last year's private assessment by Canadian officials that then-candidate Obama's frequent criticism of NAFTA was nothing more than campaign speeches aimed at chasing support among Rust Belt union workers.

"Much of the rhetoric that may be perceived to be protectionist is more reflective of political maneuvering than policy," the Canadians concluded in a memo after meeting with Austan Goolsbee, a senior campaign aide and now a member of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.

Why it's almost as if Mr. Hope and Change lied to his whack job friends on the left! The horror. Of course the real horror is that he will make it up to them in some other way but at least on this issue he's not making things worse. Small blessings and all of that I suppose.

Below the fold...video of Obama during the primary promising to opt out of NAFTA if he didn't get labor and environmental standards renegotiated.


Yeah, not so much.

And now those two geniuses are running US foreign policy. Wonderful.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:16 PM

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