Ed­wards on trade

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date John Ed­wards on Aug. 6 blamed pres­i­dents of both po­lit­i­cal par­ties for trade poli­cies that he said have harmed work­ers. The United States needs a new tough trade out­look, he said.

“The trade poli­cies of Pres­i­dent Bush have dev­as­tated towns and com­mu­ni­ties all across Amer­ica. But let’s be clear about some­thing — this isn’t just his do­ing,” Mr. Ed­wards said in re­marks pre­pared for a speech in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“For far too long, pres­i­dents from both par­ties have en­tered into trade agree­ments, like NAFTA, promis­ing they would cre­ate mil­lions of new jobs and en­rich com­mu­ni­ties,” he said. “In­stead, too many of th­ese agree­ments have cost us jobs and dev­as­tated many of our towns.”

While Mr. Ed­wards did not men­tion Bill Clin­ton by name, the Demo­cratic pres­i­dent — and hus­band of Ed­wards ri­val Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton — was a driv­ing force in get­ting the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment, or NAFTA, ap­proved in the early 1990s.

Mr. Ed­wards, the party’s vice pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee in 2004, said the new pol­icy should be aimed at lift­ing for­eign la­bor and en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards and keep­ing out un­safe im­ported goods.

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