WHITE HOUSE (AP) - The White House is vigorously defending the
North American Free Trade agreement, as the 14-year-old deal comes
under sharp criticism from Democratic presidential candidates
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.
In the words of one administration official: "There's nothing
broken. Why fix it?"
But Dan Fisk, who directs Western hemisphere affairs for the
National Security Council, does acknowledge that the administration
needs to do a better job of explaining the benefits of the
Both Clinton and Obama have threatened to pull out of the deal
to pressure Canada and Mexico to negotiate more protections for
workers and the environment.
NAFTA has removed most barriers to trade and investment among
the three countries. It's expected to be a major topic when
President Bush meets with Canada's prime minister and Mexico's
president in New Orleans next week.