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Rev. Jesse Jackson on Free Trade

Civil Rights Activist


American workers can’t compete with slave labor

The NAFTA-GATT trade agreements are undercutting good labor, replacing it with cheap labor, not better labor.

The American worker can complete with the Mexican worker or the Chinese worker. The American worker cannot compete with slave labor and should not have to. Let us raise their standards and not lower our own.

Source: United We Stand America Conference, p.127 , Aug 12, 1995

Working people cannot afford adding Chile to NAFTA

Now [supporters of free trade] want to go farther down that road with GATT and NAFTA-bringing Chile into NAFTA-and tell us it will be a major foreign policy victory.

We must insist on a trade policy that serves working people, not Wall Street speculators-one that lifts wages and conditions abroad and does not lower them here. But to do that we must take our government back. We must end the reign of money politics that makes a mockery of our democracy.

Source: United We Stand America Conference, p.131 , Aug 12, 1995

Joined with Perot as “Odd Couple” in opposing NAFTA

Money politics explains why we sustain a trade policy that serves Wall Street, not Main Street; that exports jobs and not goods; and that allows other countries to employ lobbyists from both parties to control access to their home markets while Uncle Sugar opens up our markets.

Leaders of both parties-Bush, Clinton, Gingrich, Gramm, Dole-pushed this NAFTA treaty through. Brother Perot and I were called the Odd Couple for opposing it. But everything we said turned out to be true. Wages plummeted in Mexico. Mexicans are poorer. Jobs have been lost here. When the crunch came, the $30 bailout did not bail out the American workers who lost their jobs, nor did it bail out Mexican workers. It bailed out the speculators and the investors. We must have a fair international trade agreements that lifts up working people.

Source: United We Stand America Conference, p.131 , Aug 12, 1995

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Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014