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Monday, February 16, 2004

The best answer on trade
Usually comes from Kucinich, but last night it came from Rev. Al Sharpton:

But let me say this: Not only would I cancel NAFTA, I've participated in those movements that opposed NAFTA in the beginning when Democrats were passing it and we raised the issue then that human rights was not part of what was being globalized.

So not only would I rescind NAFTA and the WTO, we were against it and had rallied against it in the beginning.

And the argument used that if you protect American workers it's protectionism, but if you protect American corporations it's patriotism -- I think it's patriotism to protect American workers.

And I think that it is some kind of jaded proposition to say, "Should Americans want to pay more to not get products at a K-Mart from cheap labor, or even in some cases, slave labor abroad? "

That's, to me, as a descendent of slaves, like saying, "Well, let's not end slavery because the product will be where we can afford it better. " It is immoral it is against our interests it is outright indecent to work people around the world at those wages to justify K-Mart prices.


HOLT: But back to my original question: Can you bring those jobs back, and can you be specific as how you would bring them back beyond canceling NAFTA?

SHARPTON: I think we bring the jobs back, one, by canceling NAFTA two, by creating manufacturing jobs three -- which would save those corporations where they can begin hiring people back -- three, by creating jobs.

SHARPTON: I've proposed throughout this campaign a $250 billion- a-year infrastructure redevelopment plan: Rebuild highways, roadways, bridges, tunnels in the name of homeland security. Rebuild the ports.

I think if you create jobs, if you cut off these trade agreements and you bring these manufacturing companies back, you can bring some of those workers back. But I think you cannot do it without an unequivocal end to these free trade agreements that have exported American jobs and that have put laborers around the world at below human rights standards.