Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden admitted Thursday that President Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement is “better than NAFTA,” which he voted of in 1993 as a senator and expressed his support for over a decade later.
During an interview on CNN, Jake Tapper pressed the former veep on whether he gives credit to the president for signing the new deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Tapper pointed out that when Barack Obama was running for president, he and Biden both said they’d renegotiate NAFTA – and noted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the USMCA is a “victory for America’s workers.”
“Because we had a Republican Congress that wouldn’t go along with us renegotiating,” Biden said.
Tapper pushed further, asking: “Doesn’t he deserve some credit for that? It’s better, USMCA is better than NAFTA.”
“It is better than NAFTA. But look at what the overall trade policy has been, even with NAFTA? We now have this gigantic deficit in trade with Mexico,” Biden said.
“Not because NAFTA wasn’t made better, because overall trade policy and how he deals with it made everything worse,” Biden said without further explanation.
On Wednesday, Biden was questioned by a FOX 2 reporter in Detroit about Trump declaring NAFTA a failure and criticizing Biden for supporting it.
In response, he slammed the George W. Bush administration for not carrying out its “commitment on NAFTA” — but did not address the fact that he voted for the Clinton-era trade agreement.
“What I say to that is, number one, the Bush administration did not keep its commitment on NAFTA, number one, and it was a mistake, number one,” Biden said.
NAFTA has been blamed for killing more than 700,000 US jobs and closing at least 60,000 factories by clearing a path for companies to move manufacturing to Mexico.
In 2007, Biden defended NAFTA, claiming that “on balance it probably created more American jobs than it lost.”
“I voted for NAFTA,” Biden said at the time. “You can argue that on balance it probably created more American jobs than it lost … There was dislocation. Some jobs got lost and some jobs got created, but again, NAFTA wasn’t the problem.”
Source: Page Six