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Bush strongly defends NAFTA

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President Bush shakes hands with Mexican President Felipe Calderon during a meeting of North America’s leaders in New Orleans, Apr. 21, 2008. Bush used the opportunity to issue his support for NAFTA.

By Johanna Neuman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

President Bush, meeting in New Orleans with his counterparts from Mexico and Canada, issued a stirring defense today of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has been roundly criticized by Democratic candidates campaigning in job-strapped states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Calling the agreement "a visionary move by previous leaders that's benefited all three of our countries," Bush said that "now is not the time to renegotiate NAFTA or walk away."

Both Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton have called for changes in the agreement to strengthen environmental and worker protections. But with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at his side, Bush was adamant that NAFTA is "creating wealth in our neighborhoods."

Former President Bill Clinton pushed NAFTA through Congress. Since then, the administration says, trade between the three countries has increased, to $930 billion last year. "I wish people could remember what the border looked like before NAFTA," said Bush, a former governor of Texas. "It was poor, really poor. If you go down there today it's prosperous, on both sides." Do away with NAFTA, he said, and it will mean "more out-of-work Mexicans" and more strain on Border Patrol agents trying to deter illegal immigration.

Bush also criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) for yanking from the House floor a free trade agreement with Colombia. Denigrating the "voices of false populism," Bush said that if the agreement is not ratified after being negotiated in good faith with the Colombians, "She's going to have to explain why anti-Americanism is flourishing."

"I'm concerned about protectionism in America," he said. "It's not in our interest to become a protectionist nation."

Bush also urged Congress to find a way to pass the free trade agreement with Colombia.

"If we don't agree to a free trade agreement that we negotiated in good faith ... it will destabilize parts of the world," he said. "It's a big mistake for Congress to turn its back on Colombia."

The two other leaders agreed, with Harper noting a destabilized Colombia posed "long-term security consequences for all of our governments in North America." Calderon said the three talked a lot about NAFTA and "of course we agreed that now is not the time to even think about amending it." Saying that he did not want to interfere in the U.S. political process, the Mexican president said he would wait to "speak to the person who is ultimately the president" and hopes that "whoever is the next president of the United States, he or she will continue with this regional effort."

On the ailing U.S. economy, Bush cited growth figures from the fourth quarter of last year to argue that "we're not in a recession." But he acknowledged that "we're in a slowdown" and said that Congress needs to avoid new taxes. Without mentioning Obama or Clinton by name, Bush said, "We got people out there campaigning, saying they're just going to tax the rich." He argued that plans to tax the rich always "end up taxing the middle class."

During a press conference, Bush also said he was worried about record-high crude oil and gasoline prices.

"I am obviously concerned for our consumers," Bush said. "Fortunately Canada and Mexico are our biggest providers, for which we are grateful."

In addition to imports of oil, Bush said the United States needs to explore for more oil and gas and blamed Congress for slowing efforts to drill for oil "in environmentally safe ways" in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. "Our energy policy wasn't effective over the years and now we're paying the price," he said.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/na...0,4316500.story

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Well, that proves that it's no good. Dump it.

Our next President should call Bush to ask him for advice, then do the exact opposite. S/he'll be the best President evar!


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Bush also criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) for yanking from the House floor a free trade agreement with Colombia. Denigrating the "voices of false populism," Bush said that if the agreement is not ratified after being negotiated in good faith with the Colombians, "She's going to have to explain why anti-Americanism is flourishing."

He's talking about anti-Americanism in Colombia right? Not anti-Americanism in half the world? Why is that again....?


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Well, that proves that it's no good. Dump it.

Our next President should call Bush to ask him for advice, then do the exact opposite. S/he'll be the best President evar!

Why? No one was complaining during the boom years post 2002. Now that the economy has turned to ####, coincidentally after the democrats took control of the senate and house, then it's all GWB's fault.

Bush also criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) for yanking from the House floor a free trade agreement with Colombia. Denigrating the "voices of false populism," Bush said that if the agreement is not ratified after being negotiated in good faith with the Colombians, "She's going to have to explain why anti-Americanism is flourishing."

He's talking about anti-Americanism in Colombia right? Not anti-Americanism in half the world? Why is that again....?

Anti-Americanism existed before GWB took control. The war just brought it to the surface, as the country was under the spotlight again..


According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Bush also criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) for yanking from the House floor a free trade agreement with Colombia. Denigrating the "voices of false populism," Bush said that if the agreement is not ratified after being negotiated in good faith with the Colombians, "She's going to have to explain why anti-Americanism is flourishing."

He's talking about anti-Americanism in Colombia right? Not anti-Americanism in half the world? Why is that again....?

Anti-Americanism existed before GWB took control. The war just brought it to the surface, as the country was under the spotlight again..

You are right it did. I disagree that it was anywhere to the extent that it is now. One may recall the number of our allies during the war in Afghanistan and how that compared to the number of our allies in the war in Iraq.


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Bush also criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) for yanking from the House floor a free trade agreement with Colombia. Denigrating the "voices of false populism," Bush said that if the agreement is not ratified after being negotiated in good faith with the Colombians, "She's going to have to explain why anti-Americanism is flourishing."

He's talking about anti-Americanism in Colombia right? Not anti-Americanism in half the world? Why is that again....?

Anti-Americanism existed before GWB took control. The war just brought it to the surface, as the country was under the spotlight again..

You are right it did. I disagree that it was anywhere to the extent that it is now. One may recall the number of our allies during the war in Afghanistan and how that compared to the number of our allies in the war in Iraq.

Government allies and what the people think are two completely different things though.

Sure the war did not help at all but as I said earlier I think it merely brought peoples feelings to the surface. The biggest issue I would say people have with the US abroad is the governments constant meddling with everyone else. The other thing is that people know very little about the US apart from what they see on TV, watch in movies or hear from others. I myself never realized how diverse the country is until living here.


According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Why? No one was complaining during the boom years post 2002. Now that the economy has turned to ####, coincidentally after the democrats took control of the senate and house, then it's all GWB's fault.

Did the economy start tanking in 2006 - or do the causative factors go back a bit further?

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Why? No one was complaining during the boom years post 2002. Now that the economy has turned to ####, coincidentally after the democrats took control of the senate and house, then it's all GWB's fault.

Did the economy start tanking in 2006 - or do the causative factors go back a bit further?

People made good money over the years, hence the property bubble, and did not give GWB a drop of praise. Yet now that things have turned to #### it is somehow his fault.

PS Hence the word "coincidentally" in my previous post..

Edited by Boo-Yah!

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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Why? No one was complaining during the boom years post 2002. Now that the economy has turned to ####, coincidentally after the democrats took control of the senate and house, then it's all GWB's fault.

Did the economy start tanking in 2006 - or do the causative factors go back a bit further?

People made good money over the years, hence the property bubble, and did not give GWB a drop of praise. Yet now that things have turned to #### it is somehow his fault.

PS Hence the word "coincidentally" in my previous post..

Bush does get the blame for a lot of stuff that isn't perhaps attributable to him directly - but you can hardly blame people for that. Its the price you pay for being a deeply unpopular leader. And Bush is a deeply unpopular leader for many reasons - many of them justified.

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A lot of the people criticizing Bush now probably had the same view of him from day one. I was here after Bush was first elected and I remember hearing the same #### from people about him back then as I do now. Michael Moore, for example, would have made a film about Bush regardless of Sept 11 or not. He himself said the other day how he does not care who ends up in office as long as they are not Bush or Republican. Anyone with that sort of attitude will never acknowledge let alone recognize anything Bush achieved and will always look for the negative..

Edited by Boo-Yah!

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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A lot of the people criticizing Bush now probably had the same view of him from day one. I was here after Bush was first elected and I remember hearing the same #### from people about him back then as I do now. Michael Moore, for example, would have made a film about Bush regardless of Sept 11 or not. He himself said the other day how he does not care who ends up in office as long as they are not Bush or Republican. Anyone with that sort of attitude will never acknowledge let alone recognize anything Bush achieved and will always look for the negative..

Bush didn't start NAFTA...it was Bill Clinton, silly.

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A lot of the people criticizing Bush now probably had the same view of him from day one. I was here after Bush was first elected and I remember hearing the same #### from people about him back then as I do now. Michael Moore, for example, would have made a film about Bush regardless of Sept 11 or not. He himself said the other day how he does not care who ends up in office as long as they are not Bush or Republican. Anyone with that sort of attitude will never acknowledge let alone recognize anything Bush achieved and will always look for the negative..

Bush didn't start NAFTA...it was Bill Clinton, silly.

You can say that about any president, from Washington to the present...

depends on your point of view....


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A lot of the people criticizing Bush now probably had the same view of him from day one. I was here after Bush was first elected and I remember hearing the same #### from people about him back then as I do now. Michael Moore, for example, would have made a film about Bush regardless of Sept 11 or not. He himself said the other day how he does not care who ends up in office as long as they are not Bush or Republican. Anyone with that sort of attitude will never acknowledge let alone recognize anything Bush achieved and will always look for the negative..

Bush didn't start NAFTA...it was Bill Clinton, silly.

I thought Bush did considering how much everyone scapegoats him for everything. Asteroids could be heading to earth and Bush will be to blame. Apparently Bush is also to blame for black holes in the universe.

Now on the topic. I don't understand how people don't get that NAFTA has nothing to do with India and China stealing American jobs. Or the reality that the 12,000,000 to 20,000,000 people here illegally have consequently reduced the number of jobs available; While also suppressing wages for the average American.

Edited by Boo-Yah!

According to the Internal Revenue Service, the 400 richest American households earned a total of $US138 billion, up from $US105 billion a year earlier. That's an average of $US345 million each, on which they paid a tax rate of just 16.6 per cent.

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A lot of the people criticizing Bush now probably had the same view of him from day one. I was here after Bush was first elected and I remember hearing the same #### from people about him back then as I do now. Michael Moore, for example, would have made a film about Bush regardless of Sept 11 or not. He himself said the other day how he does not care who ends up in office as long as they are not Bush or Republican. Anyone with that sort of attitude will never acknowledge let alone recognize anything Bush achieved and will always look for the negative..

Bush didn't start NAFTA...it was Bill Clinton, silly.

I thought Bush did considering how much everyone scapegoats him for everything. Asteroids could be heading to earth and Bush will be to blame. Apparently Bush is also to blame for black holes in the universe.

Now on the topic. I don't understand how people don't get that NAFTA has nothing to do with India and China stealing American jobs. Or the reality that the 12,000,000 to 20,000,000 people here illegally have consequently reduced the number of jobs available; While also suppressing wages for the average American.

Don't fret about it....you make a lot of far out assumptions about a lot things...but yes, let's get back to the topic (Bush doesn't think NAFTA needs renogiating)...Do you agree or disagree with this view? Why?

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