President Addresses Hispanic Congressional Caucus Institute
President Clinton addressed the annual dinner of the Hispanic
Congressional Caucus Institute last evening, and discussed NAFTA along
with the rest of his fall agenda. The President noted that Latin
America is presently the second fastest growing region of the world
(behind Asia) and stated "the reason I want to do [NAFTA] over the long
run is I want to keep the movement to democracy, I want to keep the
movement for economic growth, I want Americans to prosper by helping our
friends and neighbors in this hemisphere to build a stronger world."
The President recognized that there is disagreement over NAFTA,
and that change is never easy, but then stated "I believe that it is in
the interest of this country ... not to turn away from the change but to
embrace it -- not because it will be easy, not because nobody will be
hurt, but because on balance we'll be better. ...we cannot make the
perfect solution the enemy of the better solution. That is why I have
embraced this course and why I hope others will as well."
Daley's NAFTA Group Up and Running
The President's campaign to support the NAFTA got off to a
running start this week with the signing of the side accords, his trip
to New Orleans, and his remarks last night at the Hispanic Caucus
dinner. To further the administration's campaign, the head of the
President's NAFTA efforts, William Daley, has put together his operation
in the White House to do press, outreach, scheduling, legislative
operations, as well as executive branch coordination (as well as produce
NAFTA Notes). Along with the President's trips, Cabinet members will
be travelling to present the benefits of NAFTA to working men and women
across the country (nine Cabinet members were out on the road this week
Trade Hawk Clyde Prestowitz Changes Position On NAFTA
As reported in the Wall St. Journal, the Economic Strategy
Institute's Clyde Prestowitz, in a switch from his previous position,
called NAFTA a job-gainer, saying, "I think in the long-run [NAFTA] will
be a plus." Last fall, Mr. Prestowitz had predicted that jobs would be
lost with NAFTA; the reason for his change is the belief that more U.S.
companies will shift plants from Mexico and return to the U.S. now that
companies can sell to the Mexican market without producing there.
Earlier this week, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) endorsed NAFTA
along with six national environmental groups. This was unprecedented
environmental support for a trade agreement.