July 15, 2008
McCain Pushes Message on Merits of Trade Deals
By EDWIN TAMARA
By Edwin Tamara
The Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate John McCain in one of his strongest endorsements of free trade called himself "an unapologetic supporter of NAFTA," an agreement that many Americans feel has cost them jobs.
"I reject the false virtues of economic isolationism," McCain told the National Council of La Raza, a major Hispanic organization. "Any confident, competent country and its government should embrace competition," he said. "It makes us stronger."
The Arizona senator often has defended free trade, but his speech Monday was among his most detailed and full-throated commentaries.
"Lowering barriers to trade creates more and better jobs and higher wages," he said. "It makes goods more affordable for low- and middle- income consumers."
Citing his recent visit to Colombia and Mexico, McCain said he understands "how vitally important it is to the prosperity and security of our country to strengthen our trade, investment and diplomatic ties to other countries in our hemisphere." He said he fully supports the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Central American Free Trade Agreement and the Colombian Free Trade Agreement.
"I believe a hemispheric free trade agreement is a worthy and necessary goal whose time has come," he said .
McCain's Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, has been much cooler to free trade agreements and says he wants to revisit some aspects of NAFTA.
Sen. John McCain often has defended free trade, but his speech Monday was among his most detailed and full-throated commentaries.
Originally published by BY EDWIN TAMARA.
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