President Clinton Continues to Press NAFTA in Public Remarks
President Clinton continued to press the importance of NAFTA in
creating jobs in nearly all his public remarks last week. "The most important
fight we're going to have between now and the end of the year on the change
front is the fight to ratify [NAFTA]," the President told the Executive
Leadership Council Thursday night. "...And so I ask you as Americans to help
us in this next month convince the United States Congress that the people who
are pleading with them to vote against this treaty have ...legitimate fears,
legitimate hurt, legitimate worries. But they are imposing on NAFTA the
accumulated resentment for the last 15 years, and it doesn't deserve to have
it. If you look at the facts, it will make those problems better, not worse."
Clinton also talked to reporters about NAFTA after meeting with
Republican members of Congress on NAFTA. Telling them that he had "a hard
working week", Clinton said, "I have made several congressional meetings and,
of course, we had the great products fair with Mr. Iacocca. ...I've made,
also, a large number of personal phone calls to Democrats this week, and I
think we're making some good progress."
Finally, the President again discussed NAFTA as part of his radio
address on Saturday. Clinton told Americans that uncertainty is making it
harder to make the changes that are needed. "I see evidence of that
uncertainty, that insecurity, as I struggle to expand trade opportunities for
our people through passing [NAFTA]," he said, "as I struggle to convince
people that we should open our markets to others and force other markets open
so that we can sell more of our high-tech equipment around the world".
"The KO Clinton Needs: NAFTA"
- David Nyhan, The Boston Globe, October 24, 1993
* "Take my advice," Columnist David Nyhan wrote in The Boston Globe
yesterday. "Be for NAFTA ...beware any spitball artist who comes to you with
that wheezy argument that opens with 'the devil is in the details, right.'
Wrong, wrong, wrong." Nyhan discussed Rep. Kennedy's and former Speaker
O'Neill's endorsement of NAFTA, writing that when Kennedy endorsed, "union
spokesmen went ballistic ...Expanded trade to Mexico and Canada will create
thousands of jobs here, for a huge net employment gain. Kennedy is right [to
have backed NAFTA]."
"You can find the sophisticated economic argument for NAFTA
elsewhere," Nyhan concluded. "I'm giving you the political argument. Clinton
needs to win the NAFTA vote because it is about the future. The opponents
cling to the past. No question, NAFTA will cost us some jobs. But the
evidence is compelling, if not overwhelming, that it will create more jobs
than it costs in the short run. It must pass, or the rest of the world passes