Thursday, February 28, 2008

PA Governor NAFTA Good & Bad Amend Don't End

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a Democratic Super-delegate supporting Hillary Clinton in her bid to win the states of Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania puts the Party before the State of Independence.

Which does the Governor take an oath to?

Increasingly, it appears, the political party above the well-being of each and every Pennsylvanian.

Gov. Rendell obviously didn't believe he could win in a match on the issue of NAFTA with Lou Dobbs.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer interviewed Rendell, starting right off about the two contenders seeking the Democrat Party nomination for President and Clinton and Obama comments at the last debate about NAFTA.

Blitzer specifically asked Rendell about NAFTA's effect on PA

Interview With Governor Ed Rendell

Dobbs would've cleaned Rendell's clock in a similar interview wherein Gov. Rendell said the following:

Wolf Blitzer

Let's talk about NAFTA for a moment, which was a big issue in the debate last night between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Has NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, been good for Pennsylvania or bad for Pennsylvania?

RENDELL: It depends what section of the state. It's had a positive effect in some sections, but no question, it has hurt a lot of Pennsylvania manufacturing. And manufacturing has always been an important component of our economy. So it would get a mixed report card in this state.

BLITZER: So, on balance, would you want Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, if they were president, to opt out, give six months' notice and say it's over to Canada and Mexico and move on?

RENDELL: No. I would like to use the old phrase to amend it, not end it. I think if we put certain things into the NAFTA agreement, it could work successfully for all of Pennsylvania and for all of Ohio.

Public Citizen
NAFTA Has Cost Pennsylvania Good Jobs

NAFTA's proponents said in 1993 that NAFTA would create 200,000 new jobs in its first two years. They based this prediction on their expectation of an increased U.S. trade surplus with Mexico and used a U.S. Commerce Department formula that estimates jobs per billions dollars of net exports. In NAFTA's first year, months before the December 1995 Mexican peso devaluation, the pre-NAFTA trade surplus the U.S. had with Mexico became a trade deficit. This new NAFTA trade deficit with Mexico ballooned to $15.4 billion dollars in 1995 and $16.2 billions dollars in 1996. At the same time, under NAFTA, the deficit the U.S. had with Canada mushroomed. The total NAFTA trade deficit in 1996 was $39 billion.

Using actual trade data for the US, Mexico and Canada in the Commerce Department's 1993 formula --­ the one they used to promise creation of 200,000 new NAFTA jobs ­-- would indicate that the U.S. lost at least 400,000 jobs due to trade with NAFTA countries since 1993.(17) 17 See for example Rob Scott, "The Impact of NAFTA on Workers and Wages in the U.S.," testimony before the U.S. International Trade Commission, Economic Policy Institute, 1997. Commerce estimates that in 1994 $1 billion of exports supported 14,197. Scott uses 14,000 as the multiplier for the period 1994-1996, taking into account the effects of inflation.

The new NAFTA trade deficit directly contradicts NAFTA backers' promises. Thus, many NAFTA backers have tried to focus public attention on exports only, ignoring the effect of imports, or suggesting that we are better off because overall trade has increased. The current approach of the NAFTA backers recalls the joke about the businessman who thought he could make money selling below cost because he would make it up in volume.

Focusing on exports alone is a standard deception used by NAFTA backers trying to show NAFTA job benefits at the state level. This deception is facilitated by the fact that no data is kept systematically for imports at the state level...

In Pennsylvania, the Department of Labor has certified 10,089 workers as having lost their jobs due to NAFTA. In addition, 1,441 Pennsylvanian workers had their applications denied on the grounds that they "did not produce an article," i.e. were service workers. In the following table we reproduce the NAFTA TAA certifications for Pennsylvania...

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