Saturday, October 22, 2011

President Obama Signs Three New Free Trade Agreements

Although President Obama campaigned heavily against free-trade agreements like NAFTA, he just signed three more into law. The agreements cover US trade relations with Columbia, Panama and South Korea.

During the 2008 Democratic Primaries, free trade became a major campaign issue. Hillary Clinton and Obama exchanged very tough words over the subject as the primaries reached the Midwest. Although Obama faulted Clinton for participating in the process to enact NAFTA, leaked communications between his economic team and members of the Canadian government revealed that Obama privately assured Canada that his tough talk on trade was merely campaign rhetoric.

Although Obama initially denied any allegations of double-talk, he later conceded that language in political debates can become "overheated." Several articles on Dissenting Justice cover this issue (see below).

For more coverage, see:

What Happened to the Thunderous Liberal Opposition to Free Trade?

Don't Blame the Current Economic Conditions: Obama's Softer Position on NAFTA Emerged Almost a Year Ago

Chill Out, Canada: Despite Tough Campaign Rhetoric Obama Will Not Touch NAFTA

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