At Monday night’s debate, Donald Trump spent a good amount of time speaking against NAFTA, and saying it was the “worst trade agreement sign in history”. Well, Bill Clinton begs to differ.
At an event in Ohio, Clinton agreed that not all trade deals have worked (which is true). But he went after Trump in a detailed manner, especially when it came to one of the examples Trump used during the debate.
Clinton said, “They were talking about that closing in Indiana, that Carrier air conditioning plant, you remember that last night. They don’t make air conditioners there, they make furnaces. But it is a Carrier company.”
During the debate, Trump called the North American Free Trade Agreement the “single worst trade agreement ever approve in the country.” The treaty was first negotiated by President George H.W Bush, but Clinton was in the White House when the deal was finally signed.
Trump singled out the example of Carrier closing the Indiana plant and shipping jobs to Mexico as one of the reasons the U.S. has been ripped off by the pact.
Not so, said Bill Clinton.
Clinton said, “Her opponent blamed NAFTA, but that’s not really what happened. You want to know what happened? It’s really important you understand this, because any president who wants to trade with other countries has got to take this into account.”
Clinton said Carrier wanted to break the union in a rush toward profits and in turn blew off an offer from employees to try to save the Midwestern plant from going to Mexico.
“They wanted to break the union, make the money in a hurry and give it to their activist shareholders, we used to call them raiders, and give it to their CEO. So an American president, until we go back to being a stakeholder country, where corporations take account not just their most active shareholders, but their workers, their communities and their customers and their future, we have to be a lot more careful,” Clinton said. “And that is something we have all learned.”