Since Monday’s debate, social media has exploded with fact checkers picking apart Trump’s and Clinton’s statements. On Thursday, a video clip began making the rounds showing MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow fact checking Donald Trump’s statement about Bill Clinton signing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It appears that Maddow was attempting to erase Clinton’s involvement in the treaty, and instead, placed the responsibility for it fully on the shoulders of George H.W. Bush. She stated that Bush had actually signed the treaty, not Clinton.
Maddow has told a half-truth, for while NAFTA negotiations were fast tracked by Bush, he did not actually sign it into law. On December 17, 1992, Bush signed a preliminary draft of the agreement that still needed to be ratified by Congress and signed into law by Clinton.
In 1992, the Baltimore Sun reported that Clinton was supportive of the agreement, and the president-elect believed no changes needed to be made to it.
“I believe these steps do not require renegotiation of NAFTA.”
Clinton then spent his first year in office actively working to ensure the agreement would be ratified by Congress. He signed the final draft in December 1993, approximately one year after Bush signed the initial draft. Congress ratified the treaty and the law went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994.
Even in 1992, concerns about NAFTA’s effect on domestic and foreign businesses loomed large. The AFL-CIO opposed it, calling it a threat to U.S. jobs. Environmentalist and consumer groups also opposed it, saying companies would be “lured to Mexico by its lower air, water, and land pollution safeguards,” resulting in increased cross-border pollution.
The Miller Center, which specializes in presidential scholarship, describes NAFTA as an agreement that eliminated nearly every trade barrier between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The Mises Institute, an Austrian economics organization, reprinted Murray N. Rothbard’s 1993 op-ed in which he vigorously opposed NAFTA. Rothbard scoffed at Clinton’s description of NAFTA as ensuring free trade between the three countries.
“If authentic free trade ever looms on the policy horizon, there’ll be one sure way to tell. The government/media/big-business complex will oppose it tooth and nail.”
Vincent Intondi, an associate professor of history at Montgomery University, detailed the consequences of NAFTA in a piece for the Huffington Post. One of those consequences was small farmers in Mexico lost their farms due to cheap, subsidized corn.
“Once NAFTA became law, highly subsidized cheap corn from major U.S. corporations flooded the Mexican market, causing millions of local farmers to lose their livelihoods, and with little options, migrate illegally to the United States. President Salinas repealed Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution, privatizing once public lands, which were then sold to the highest bidder, often U.S. corporations.”
Since the Democratic primaries, it has been evident that MSNBC and Rachel Maddow in particular have worked diligently to quash any criticism of Hillary or Bill Clinton and paint them in the best possible light in order to convince voters that this “two-for-one” deal is as good as it gets.
Take the the Nevada state convention, for example. It was a quarrelsome affair. Convention chair Roberta Lange clearly violated multiple convention rules amid controversy and then claimed that Bernie Sanders delegates threw chairs, among other things. Maddow interviewed Lange, and allowed her to perpetuate this lie, even when video evidence emerged proving no chairs were thrown by anyone.
Nevada superdelegate Erin Bilbray was also at the state convention. She witnessed much of what happened. Nina Turner was also present for a period of time. However, Maddow failed to interview either one of these ladies to get a different angle on what happened. It was clearly a hit piece against Sanders and his supporters. According to an earlier story in the Inquisitr, Nevada state Democratic leaders made “last-minute changes” to convention rules that favored Hillary Clinton.
So it comes as no surprise that Maddow attempted to erase Bill Clinton’s role in NAFTA. After all, it has been obvious from the beginning that she desperately wants Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump.
Rachel Maddow was once known as a truth-teller, a maverick in a sea of corporate shills peddling lies and exaggerations for their corporate media masters. Since the Democratic primaries began in 2015, though, it has become clear that she is no longer interested in doing so. Bill Clinton was reportedly gung-ho about NAFTA, and Maddow’s so-called fact check against Trump’s statement is just one more nail in the coffin of her journalistic integrity.
[Featured Image by Chuck Burton/AP Images]