Obama: NAFTA not so bad

by Luiza Ch. Savage

My friend, the wonderful Nina Easton, has an interview with Barack Obama in Fortune magazine that looks like a bit of a defensive move aimed at a business audience ahead of John McCain’s free trade speech in Ottawa tomorrow.

Nina writes: ” In an interview with Fortune to be featured in the magazine’s upcoming issue, the presumptive Democratic nominee backed off his harshest attacks on the free trade agreement and indicated he didn’t want to unilaterally reopen negotiations on NAFTA.

“Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,” he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA “devastating” and “a big mistake,” despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? “Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don’t exempt myself,” he answered.

Obama says he believes in “opening up a dialogue” with trading partners Canada and Mexico “and figuring to how we can make this work for all people.” ”

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Did we all see this coming, or what?




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