Obama Deceived Debate Viewers on NAFTA Plans, Canada TV Says

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 03/02/2008 - 3:29pm.

Did Sen. Barack Obama say one thing privately to the Canadian government about NAFTA -- and something very different during Tuesday night's debate? The answer is yes, according to CTV, a Canadian television network. ~ SEE THE VIDEO

The network reported Wednesday night that a "senior member" of the Obama campaign called Michael Wilson, the Canadian ambassador to the U.S., "within the last month," warning Wilson that Obama would "take some heavy swings" at the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as part of his campaign.

Obama insider reportedly told the ambassador, "Don't worry -- it's just campaign rhetoric, it's not serious," CTV reported.

CTV reported that the Obama campaign's message to Wilson was taken as "completely authentic" by the Canadian government.

At Tuesday's debate in Cleveland, Sen. Hillary Clinton said that as president she would opt out of the North American Free Trade Agreement in six months, if she couldn't renegotiate the agreement with Canada and Mexico to her satisfaction.

"I will make sure we renegotiate," Obama agreed. "I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced."

Democrats count labor unions among their biggest supporters, and labor unions blame NAFTA for eliminating jobs.

On Wednesday, Canada's Trade Minister David Emerson said NAFTA is at risk, given Clinton and Obama's threats to end it, the Bloomberg News Service reported.

"The rhetoric of protectionism has been creeping up and getting more strident," Emerson was quoted as saying. "It's not just the heat of the presidential campaign," he said -- there's a grassroots movement against it as well.

Emerson said Mexico, Canada and the United States all benefit from the 1994 trade deal, which was negotiated by the Clinton administration. "The dismantling of trade barriers and the opening of markets has led to economic growth and rising prosperity in all three countries," the U.S. Commerce Department says on its Web site.

Canada is the USA's biggest trading partner.

Bloomberg also quoted Finance Minister Jim Flaherty as saying that it will be "very important" for the eventual U.S. presidential nominee to talk with "those who are very knowledgeable about" NAFTA.

Obama has not directly responded to questions about his differing private and public stands on NAFTA. A spokesperson for the Obama campaign told CTV that the Obama staffer's conversation with Ambassador Wilson sounded implausible. But the spokesperson did not deny that the Obama campaign had contacted Wilson.

"Senator Obama does not make promises he doesn't intend to keep," the spokesperson told CTV.

Canada TV-Obama-Clinton and NAFTA - VIDEO

Susan Jones - February 28, 2008 - -posted at www.cnsnews.com
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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 03/02/2008 - 3:29pm.