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Edwards Decries U.S. Trade Policy

Posted by nytexan on August 7, 2007

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA — Contending that corporate profits dictate the nation’s foreign trade pacts, Democratic presidential contender John Edwards on Monday called for a “zero tolerance” policy that would freeze imports of harmful food, toys and other goods.

Speaking with an eye toward a forum of Democratic candidates to be sponsored by the AFL-CIO today in Chicago, Edwards proposed new rules on trade policies that he said would boost the standing of workers in the U.S. and across the world.

Edwards said he would not abrogate the North American Free Trade Agreement among the United States, Canada and Mexico. But, he said, he would renegotiate it to reflect his priorities for future trade pacts, including standards that allow for unionization of workers, environmental protection and controls on currency manipulation.

“When it comes to trade, the only thing that matters in Washington, D.C., is corporate profits,” the former North Carolina senator told nearly 300 people at the union hall of Local 405 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. “We need trade without trade-offs for America.”

Edwards said the nation needed trade rules that protected consumers. He said he would enforce mandatory labeling of foods and other products detailing their country of origin and give the Food and Drug Administration the resources needed to keep tainted food out of the country.

“We’ll enforce zero tolerance and immediately freeze the specific import of any food, toys, medicines or other goods that threaten the health of our families and our children,” Edwards said. “We will not let them in until we, in fact, know they’re safe.”

In recent weeks, the Tribune has reported on the importation of lead-tainted toys and other products from China. Last week, more than 1 million Fisher-Price toys were recalled, and before that, pet food manufactured with a tainted China-produced ingredient sickened and killed dogs and cats in the U.S.

Edwards maintained that past trade pacts, such as NAFTA, came at the expense of workers.

Although he criticized trade polices under President Bush, Edwards said the downside of economic globalization “isn’t just his doing.”

“For far too long, presidents from both parties have entered into trade agreements, like NAFTA, promising that they would create millions of new jobs and enrich communities,” said Edwards, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004. “Instead, too many of these agreements have cost us jobs and devastated communities across this country.”

NAFTA was a major initiative of the administration of Bill Clinton, whose wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, is a main rival of Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Although Edwards brought up NAFTA, he did not mention either Clinton by name.

Edwards said he would eliminate business tax breaks that favor moving jobs overseas and would conduct economic-impact assessments of proposed trade deals to determine what industries, workers and communities might be harmed and how they could be helped.

“We need to restore some honesty to the trade-deal debate and not claim, like too many presidents have in the past, from both parties by the way, that trade will help everybody,” Edwards said.

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13 Responses to “Edwards Decries U.S. Trade Policy”

  1. Suzie-Q said

    Edwards speaks the truth and he is a man for the people! I think he would be a terrific President! He’s got my vote! 🙂

  2. nytexan said

    I am leaning more towards Edwards. Hillary has never gotten my attention she irritates me.

  3. […] Clark Contact the Webmaster Link to Article barack obama Edwards Decries U.S. Trade Policy » Posted at BlueBloggin on Tuesday, […]

  4. kayinmaine said

    NYTexan, I’m not a Hillary fan either. Edwards is okay. He’s at least better than Hillary. I’m more of a Kucinich fan and I will be voting for him in the primary. He won’t get on the ballot, but at least my mind will feel good. 🙂

    Out of the top 3…I like Edwards the best to be honest with you.

  5. nytexan said

    I do like Kucinich but I don’t want to waste my primary vote.

  6. unitedwelay1 said

    I think it’s way too early to make a decision. I think Kucinich is the man.

    Nytexan,
    I think it’s really sad how man people talk about “wasting” votes. No vote is wasted. One of the problems with America is that we have taken politics out of the personal realm. Everything our politicians do effect us, so why shouldn’t we guard our votes like they are our most important assets? I think it would change the country if people took their vote personally and decided to vote for who they believed SHOULD win instead of who they thought could win. I am disappointed with America for this.

  7. unitedwelay1 said

    Out of the top three, I don’t feel any are really worth my vote. They’re not working hard enough for it. Too many Democrats signed the wire-tapping bill, and not enough came out against it. These are the people who will be running OUR country. Don’t you think it’s time we realized the importance of that job and treated it accordingly?

  8. nytexan said

    Unitedwelay:

    I agree that no vote is a wasted vote. I would love for Edwards or Kucinich to get the nomination. However, with way the MSM continually focuses on Obama and Hillary sometimes you would never know that there were other very good candidates in this race. It seems like the MSM picked the front runners before they even announced.

    You are very correct in you statement “decided to vote for who they believed SHOULD win instead of who they thought could win.” This is what I plan on doing. The pressure should be put on the MSM to stop the exclusive and continual coverage of one or two candidates. Many people are easily influenced and will not make their own decision but instead let the MSM do it for them.

    I have no interest in a Bush/Clinton flip flop White House and I am just not a Hillary fan for many reasons. Obama has not struck me as the right candidate for me.

    If Kucinich continues to grow and get the support he got last night, then for me the vote will not be wasted. Personally I think he did very well at the debate. But again all attention went to Hillary and Obama.

    I have yet to make up my mind on a candidate but you can guess who I won’t be voting for.

    BTW: I love your avatar.

  9. nytexan said

    unitedwelay:
    I am very disgusted with the wiretapping bill that the democrats signed. Shame on them.

    When you speak of the importance of the job, the only one who sticks by the Constitution is Kucinich.

    Many candidates say what people want to hear to get into office and then they do what ever the hell they want. Hillary and Obama fall in that class for me. I think Edwards has learned a lot over the last few years in his continual campaign. Hopefully that has made him walk the talk.

    Kucinich stands very far apart from the others.

  10. kip152 said

    I’m sorry, did you guys not see the debate last night? How could anyone vote for that scumbag Edwards after that performance? I’ll admit I was rooting for him in the past, but now I’d rather vote Republican than see that jerk-off in the White House.

  11. nytexan said

    Kip:
    Edwards did horrible last night. I didn’t like the “all I’ve done for you” attitude. Like I said above I think campaigning for two years, Edwards has seen more ground than the others. The huge problem I see with Edwards is that he is so busy trying to get to the first tier that he comes off really bad in the debates.

    I’m not 100% sold on him but I can’t exclude him just yet.

  12. kip152 said

    When Steve Skvara asked him, “What’s wrong with this country, and what will you do to make it right?”, I was literally in tears.
    I’d like to ask the rest of the field, Who will fight for the Steve Skvaras of the country?

  13. nytexan said

    Kip:
    Steve got to me also. I just saw him on Hardball and he was again impressive.He said he would have liked to hear all the candidates answer his question and they should have. He said he was satisfied with the answer he got from Edwards.

    I think we will b seeing of him.

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