[ Kerry, a proponent of “free trade” deals like NAFTA, has selected John Edwards as his running mate. Kerry only started to sound “tough on trade” — claiming trade deals must provide for strong enforcement of labor and environmental laws — after “fair trade” contenders like Dennis Kucinich pressured him during the fall Democratic candidate debates. Edwards’ toughness on the issue may be more sincere, given the way the textile and other industries in his home state of North Carolina have suffered under NAFTA. Here’s what this morning’s Washington Post says of Edwards on trade:
Says the United States should change its trade policy, and he would have voted against NAFTA in 1993 if he was in the Senate.
Supports enforcing all existing trade agreements but would renegotiate terms of NAFTA agreement.
Says he will oppose any trade agreements that fail to include strong and enforceable labor and environmental standards.
Says the United States should incorporate core labor standards including the right to collective bargaining, a prohibition on slave labor, and minimum age requirements for labor, and minimum wage standards.
Edwards, Kerry agree on many major issues
John Edwards seldom criticized John Kerry when they were competing for the Democratic presidential nomination. Nor did the two have many major policy disagreements.
Now they’re running mates — Kerry for president and Edwards for vice president.
Both Kerry and Edwards supported the decision to go to war in Iraq, and they both voted against the 87 (b) billion dollar package for Iraq and Afghanistan.
One division was over the North American Free Trade Agreement — Kerry voted for it, Edwards campaigned against it. A more clear-cut difference was Kerry’s opposition to the death penalty and Edwards’ support of it.
Edwards also supports abortion rights. He opposes private-school vouchers and the idea of partially privatizing Social Security.
Edwards also backs domestic-partner rights for same-sex couples, but he opposes gay marriage.