Joe Biden: "I Was Against NAFTA" Before I Voted For NAFTA But It Wasn | Video | RealClearPolitics

Joe Biden: "I Was Against NAFTA" Before I Voted For NAFTA But "It Wasn't What Was Promised"


Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Thursday during an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper that he was initially in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which he voted for in 1993.

Biden introduced a new "Made In America" plan during a campaign stop Wednesday in Michigan.

Tapper repeatedly pressed Biden to give Trump "credit" for signing a new deal to replace NAFTA, but Biden would not budge.

"Doesn't he deserve some credit for that?" Tapper asked. "It's better, USMCA is better than NAFTA."

"It is better than NAFTA," Biden said. "But look at what the overall trade policy has been."

JAKE TAPPER: So you asked and what did he do after he got elected, and you brought up the tax bill. Something else he did was renegotiated NAFTA.

JOE BIDEN: He did.

TAPPER: He renegotiated NAFTA. When you ran for president and Barack Obama ran for president you both said you would renegotiate NAFTA. Nancy Pelosi said the USMCA, which President Trump signed into law is a, quote, a victory for America's workers. Does he deserve credit for that?

JOE BIDEN: No, I think. Remember, he wasn't the one that pushed that particular one that passed. The House amended the bill, amended the bill. It's a big deal.

TAPPER: He signed it.

BIDEN: They amended it. He was giving pharma a way out, a gigantic break the way he's doing now with pharma. They are building overseas and getting tax breaks for it. That's what it was about with him. They said we're not going to do that.

TAPPER: He renegotiated NAFTA and you didn't is the point.

BIDEN: Because we had a Republican Congress that wouldn't go along with us renegotiating.

TAPPER: Doesn't he deserve some credit for that? It's better, USMCA is better than NAFTA.

BIDEN: It is better than NAFTA. But look at what the overall trade policy has been, even with NAFTA? We now have this gigantic deficit in trade with Mexico. Not because NAFTA wasn't made better, because overall trade policy and how he deals with it made everything worse.

TAPPER: I guess my only point is: I'm a blue-collar guy sitting in Macomb County, Michigan, if I were that person.

BIDEN: Yeah.

TAPPER: I'm sitting here listening to your pitch and I'm thinking, "I like what he has to sell but he's part of the establishment that has been selling my jobs down the river. He supported NAFTA, he supported Most Favored Nation status for China and Trump renegotiated NAFTA and Obama and Biden didn't."

BIDEN: I'll tell you what we did do. We inherited the greatest recession short of a depression.
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