Jimmy Carter on Free Trade

President of the U.S., 1977-1981


1993: Called members of Congress to push for NAFTA

November offered two examples of sound policy and questionable politics. After Al Gore plainly bested Ross Perot in a heavily watched TV debate in NAFTA, it passed the House, 234-200. Three days later the Senate followed suit, 61-38. Al and I had called or seen two hundred members of Congress, and the cabinet had made nine hundred calls. President Carter also helped, calling members of Congress all day long for a week. We also had to make deals on a wide range of issues; the lobbying effort for NAFTA looked even more like sausage making than the budget fight had. Our whole team had won a great economic and political victory for America, but like the budget, it came at a high price, dividing our party in Congress and infuriating many of our strongest supporters in the labor movement.
Source: My Life, by Bill Clinton, p.557 , Jun 21, 2004

Fair and balanced agreements lowering the barriers to trade

Last year we had the highest level of exports of farm products in the history of our country--$24 billion. We expect to have more this year.

Economic success at home is the key to success in our international economic policy. An effective energy program, strong investment and productivity, and controlled inflation will [improve] our trade balance and balance it, and it will help to protect the integrity of the dollar overseas.

By working closely with our friends abroad, we can promote the economic health of the whole world, with fair and balanced agreements lowering the barriers to trade.

Despite the inevitable pressures that build up when the world economy suffers from high unemployment, we must firmly resist the demands for self-defeating protectionism. But free trade must also be fair trade. And I am determined to protect American industry and American workers against foreign trade practices which are unfair or illegal.

Source: Pres. Carter's 1978 State of the Union message to Congress , Jan 19, 1978

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Other past presidents on Free Trade: Jimmy Carter on other issues:
Former Presidents:
Barack Obama(D,2009-2017)
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower(R,1953-1961)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Past Vice Presidents:
V.P.Joseph Biden
V.P.Dick Cheney
V.P.Al Gore
V.P.Dan Quayle
Sen.Bob Dole

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Page last updated: Feb 22, 2022