Bill Richardson: Was NAFTA a good idea?

Question: Was NAFTA a good idea?

Bill Richardson: It was a good idea. I voted for it. I felt at the time that it was gonna be good for the country. It would create jobs. It would reduce immigration. It hasn’t done it. I also thought that the side agreements that were negotiated with NAFTA – that the environment, the air quality at the border would be clean; that there would be job protections – that those would be enforced. They weren’t enforced. The problem with NAFTA is that it failed to live to its expectations. I’m also realistic that you can’t cancel it as the rhetoric that some feel will . . . will get your votes, that that’s not gonna work. What I would like to do is renegotiate some aspects of NAFTA, like some of the trucking provisions, some of the agriculture provisions. But I would rather look at the future and say that in . . . in any trade agreement, I will make it a fair trade agreement. I will look at following international labor core standards like no child labor, no slave labor; that there be provisions for collective bargaining, freedom of association, job parity, wage parity, and environmental protections. But I would try to engage our trade policy in a positive way. That . . . I would do is I would balance our budget. I would invest more in science and technology industries of the future; give them tax incentives so that companies like solar, wind, bio fuels, bio diesel can get – if they pay over the prevailing wage – a tax incentive. And then finally improve our education system. We’re very behind when it comes to science and technology, and science and math. We’re twentieth in the world in science and math to Europe, to other countries that have more engineers. So I would have an affirmative policy besides trying to protect our own workers.

Recorded on: 11/20/07

 

A good idea that has fallen short of its promise, Richardson says.

7 fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Here are 7 often-overlooked World Heritage Sites, each with its own history.

Photo by Raunaq Patel on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites are locations of high value to humanity, either for their cultural, historical, or natural significance.
  • Some are even designated as World Heritage Sites because humans don't go there at all, while others have felt the effects of too much human influence.
  • These 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites each represent an overlooked or at-risk facet of humanity's collective cultural heritage.
Keep reading Show less

Following sex, some men have unexpected feelings – study

A new study shows that some men's reaction to sex is not what you'd expect, resulting in a condition previously observed in women.

Credit: Pixabay
Sex & Relationships
  • A new study shows men's feelings after sex can be complex.
  • Some men reportedly get sad and upset.
  • The condition affected 41% of men in the study
Keep reading Show less
Big Think
Sponsored by Lumina Foundation

Upvote/downvote each of the videos below!

As you vote, keep in mind that we are looking for a winner with the most engaging social venture pitch - an idea you would want to invest in.

Keep reading Show less