George Bush Sr. on Free Trade

President of the U.S., 1989-1993; Former Republican Rep. (TX)


1992 talks led to NAFTA agreement

The Bush administration held extensive discussions with Canada and Mexico that resulted in the approval of a draft North American Free Trade Agreement in 1992.
Source: Grolier’s Encyclopedia on-line: “The Presidency” , Dec 25, 2000

Create new jobs through increases in exports

As the unemployment rate edged upward in 1991, Bush signed a bill providing additional benefits for unemployed workers. He aggressively sought to create new jobs through increases in exports, and to that end he visited Australia, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan in January 1992. Despite hopes for a major agreement with Japan, he obtained only modest Japanese concessions to purchase American products.
Source: Grolier Encyclopedia on-line, “The Presidency” , Dec 25, 2000

Make Americas a zone of peace, free trade, and democracy

Author's note: Signing NAFTA to help foster a "zone of peace." It would fall to President Clinton to push this landmark agreement through Congress.

"This year marks the 500th anniversary of a voyage of discovery to the New World. And let this also be a time of rediscovery for my country, the US, of the importance of our own hemisphere. If we are to be equal to the challenges before us, we can build in the Americas the world's 1st completely democratic hemisphere. Just think of the example for the rest of the world.

"This hemisphere can be as well a zone of peace, where trade flows freely, prosperity is shared, the rule of law is respected, and the gifts of human knowledge are harnessed for all."
(Remarks on signing the North American Free Trade Agreement, Organization of American States)

Source: Heartbeat, by Jim McGrath, p.220 , Dec 17, 1992

For NAFTA because exports critical to economy

PEROT: [to Bush]: You implement NAFTA, the Mexican trade agreement, where they pay a dollar an hour, have no health care, no retirement, no pollution controls, etc., and you're going to hear a giant sucking sound of jobs being pulled out of this country. We don't have good trade agreements across the world.

BUSH: I am for the North American Free Trade Agreement. I think free trade is going to expand our job opportunity. I think it is exports that have saved us when we're in a recession. We need more free trade agreements.

CLINTON: I say it does more good than harm if we can get protection for the environment so that the Mexicans have to follow their own environmental standards, their own labor law standards, and if we have a genuine commitment to reeducate and retrain American workers who lose their jobs.

Source: The Third Clinton-Bush-Perot Presidential Debate , Oct 19, 1992

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Other past presidents on Free Trade: George Bush Sr. on other issues:
Former Presidents:
Barack Obama(D,2009-2017)
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower(R,1953-1961)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Past Vice Presidents:
V.P.Joseph Biden
V.P.Dick Cheney
V.P.Al Gore
V.P.Dan Quayle
Sen.Bob Dole

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Page last updated: Feb 22, 2022