Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Marco Rubio (R-FL) was asked about his deciding vote to give President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as “Fast-Track Authority”, to negotiate the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP, or ObamaTrade).
It’s apparent that Rubio is a big fan of ObamaTrade.
As seen in an exclusive video below, Evan Mulch asked Rubio, “if the TPP was truly about free trade and lowering tariffs, then why wouldn’t it be a one page document? Why is the TPP hundreds of pages long?”
“Wouldn’t it be in our best effort to repeal the North American Free Trade agreement (NAFTA), because NAFTA basically sent the manufacturing jobs to Mexico from the U.S.?” Mulch continued.
Rubio responded by defending Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) like NAFTA and said, “No, we have a trade surplus with virtually every country in the world that we have free trade with.”
Joshua Cook asked Curtis Ellis, who is an expert on TPP, what he thought about Rubio’s comment regard the U.S. having a trade surplus.
“It’s not true. It’s not right,” said Ellis. “The guy is either ignorant or he’s lying. This is a talking point put out by apologists for these free trade agreements.”
[See imports vs. exports 2015 : U.S. trade in goods with Mexico can be seen here. A very clear example is with South Korea.]
“He is repeating talking points given to him by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He is knowingly trying to mislead us,” says Ellis.
For many, NAFTA has become a cautionary tale that warns people that these big treaties ultimately harm the U.S. economy.
According to New American Magazine:
“In 1993, the year before NAFTA went into effect, the United States had a $1.66 billion trade surplus with Mexico; by 1995, the first year after NAFTA had entered into force, that changed to a $15.8 billion deficit. By 2000, that annual deficit had soared to $24.5 billion, and by 2007 it hit $74.7 billion. For 2014, our trade deficit with Mexico dipped to only $53.8 billion. In 1993, the year before NAFTA, we imported around 225,000 cars and trucks from Mexico. By 2005, our imports of Mexican-made vehicles had tripled to 700,000 vehicles annually, and in 2012, Mexico’s export of vehicles to the United States surpassed 1.4 million. Chrysler, Ford, and GM transferred major production facilities (and jobs) from the United States to Mexico. Our trade deficits with Canada have followed a similar path since adoption of NAFTA.”
Many have attributed massive trade deficits, joblessness through outsourcing, and a decreased standard of American living to NAFTA and other corporate-led trade deals.
It is important to note that opposing these big “trade deals” is not protectionism. Ron Paul made it clear on why he opposed NAFTA, stating that what most politicians are promoting is “managed trade” not “free trade.”
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