Free trade has decimated manufacturing and the middle class in our country. The problem today is free trade isn’t just affecting blue collar workers, it is affecting many white collar workers also, from computer engineers to corporate lawyers.
While many people are starting to come into agreement that free trade has done more harm than good for our country, others have been successful in affixing “free trade” to the Clinton Administration. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The starting point for NAFTA actually began with President Ronald Regan. In 1979, while officially declaring his candidacy for President, Ronald Reagan proposes a “North American Agreement” which he said, will produce “a North American continent in which the goods and people of the three countries will cross boundaries more freely.”
Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney agreed with Reagan to begin negotiations for the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was signed in 1988 by both of leaders, it went into effect in 1989. (Source: NaFina, NAFTA Timeline)
By 1992 the FTA (free trade agreement) was pushed aside. What people have misunderstood is that
NAFTA was actually signed by President George H.W. Bush, along with the Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Salinas
It was ratified by the three countries in 1993. The House approved it by 234 to 200 on November 17 and the Senate by 60 to 38 on November 20.
It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on December 8, 1993 and entered force January 1, 1994. The agreement signed by George H. W. Bush and made the law of the land by Clinton.
(Source: History.com, NAFTA Signed into Law, December 8, 1993.)
So not only did Saint Reagan raise taxes on middle class Americans to placate to his Corporate donors, he gutted the middle class by initiating an agreement that would grow into the monster that killed our standard of living.