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Date: Thu, 11 Sep 97 22:17:32 CDT
From: scott@rednet.org (Peoples Weekly World)
Subject: EDITORIAL: Stop NAFTA fast track
Organization: Scott Marshall
Article: 17838

Stop NAFTA fast track

People's Weekly World Editorial, 13 September 1997

President Clinton, ever ready to do the bidding of his Wall Street patrons, is now poised to seek a vast expansion of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). But first, Clinton wants renewal of his authority to negotiate the NAFTA expansion by way of the so-called "fast track." This mode of legislating, of dubious constitutionality, permits the President to negotiate the terms of a trade agreement with other countries and then submit it for a quick up or down vote to the House and Senate barring any amendments.

Clinton, sometimes called "Slick Willy," likes this method of legislating - rushing bills through before the people can read the fine print. When he rammed NAFTA through in 1993 over the angry opposition of the labor movement he gushed promises that NAFTA would generate millions of new high-paying jobs, etc.

Now, the Clinton administration "concedes that it wildly oversold the benefits" of NAFTA. That is putting it mildly. Clinton lied and lied again."NAFTA's track record is dismal," the AFL-CIO declares. "Our trade deficit with Canada and Mexico has quadrupled from $9 billion in 1993 to $39 billion in 1996. This has cost American workers 420,000 jobs while increasing downward pressure on wages and eroding worker's bargaining power."

Out of 225,000 applicants, the U.S. Department of Labor has certified about 127,000 workers from over 1,000 locations (through May 1997) as having lost their jobs because of NAFTA.

The AFL-CIO statement warns that the Clinton administration has already informed Congress that it is ready to scrap labor and environmental standards in the expanded NAFTA to win renewal of Clinton's fast track authority. It is part of Clinton's gallop to the right. Every poll shows strong majority opposition to NAFTA. We should demand that Congress block fast track.

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