November 17th, 2007
09:49 AM ET
4 years ago

Bill Clinton: "They made trade a dirty word"

Former President Bill Clinton.

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN)– Addressing a crowd of college democrats Friday, former President Bill Clinton criticized the Bush administration for making trade a "dirty word."

Clinton discussed the amounting inequalities in healthcare, education and income domestically and said the problems had been exacerbated by an increasing deficit financed by foreign monies.

"It is profoundly unequal, and the government's policies have made it more, so by insisting that wealthy people like me get a tax cut every year,"
Clinton said. "And then [they] turn around and borrow the money to pay for my tax cut, and for our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the Chinese, the Indians, the Koreans, the oil exporters‹and all the people that have trade surpluses with us."

The U.S treasury reports indicate as of September 2007 that the top five holders of U.S. treasury bills are Japan, China, the United Kingdom, Oil Exporters (includes Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Gabon, Libya, and Nigeria) and Brazil. Japan still maintains the lion's share of U.S. debt at $582 billion. China holds the number two slot at $397 billion.

As a result of these investments by foreign nations, Clinton noted that trade policy had become less effective.

"They made trade a dirty word," Clinton said of the current Bush administration.

The "problem is it's not so much trade, as it was pointed out in the debate last night by more than one speaker, it's that we don't enforce our trade laws anymore," Clinton said referencing CNN's Democratic debate held in Las Vegas Thursday. "And the reason we don't enforce our trade laws anymore is they're our bankers."

"We have mortgaged our economic sovereignty," said the former President.

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–CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla


Filed under: Bill Clinton • New Hampshire • President Bush
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Jim Topeka, KS

    The "problem is it's not so much trade, as it was pointed out in the debate last night by more than one speaker, it's that we don't enforce our trade laws anymore," Clinton said referencing CNN's Democratic debate held in Las Vegas Thursday. "And the reason we don't enforce our trade laws anymore is they're our bankers."

    "We have mortgaged our economic sovereignty," said the former President

    Three cheers for Bill as he calls it like it is, don't like it tough. Seven and a 1/2 years of no one looking after the nations economic interests is enough.

    November 19, 2007 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. S, Austin, Texas

    For those of you who like to bad mouth Bill Clinton, keep mind he is merely campaigning for his wife just like Elizabeth, Michelle and all the other candidate’s wives do. But at least he has something to say and yes, people do like to hear him speak. It’s pretty stupid to compare the Clinton administration to the current and prior Bush administration. Maybe you all Clinton haters should Google (saves time) his presidency and get a quick lesson on the legislation and programs Clinton passed during his presidency instead of talking about something you know nothing about. You will probably find that you benefited from a few of the major legislation and programs that he signed during his presidency. And the controversies didn’t affect you. When it comes to Hillary it’s obvious you Clinton Haters have never read about her life. If you had, you would know that her path in politics began before she met Bill. She has my support just like Bill did. But I’m not voting for her because of Bill, I’m voting for Hillary because she is not only a dynamic person; she is the most qualified and experienced candidate to lead this country out of the chaos created by Bush such as the 8.2 trillion debt. What was the deficit when Clinton took office – oh yeah, 290 billion? And you all want to compare that to the Clinton administration’s federal budget surplus in 2000.

    November 19, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Princess Baltimore MD

    First of all people Bill Clinton was one our best president. First of all he put alot of minoriy people in federal, or mangement postions. Plus it was his presidency to come up and get passed int affarmitive actions. so wat his home life was messed up, if he was still president we wouldn't have young boys in the army dieing over some b.s for real. I think people miss theirs sons, daughters. what about fathers and mothers who will never see their kids grow up

    November 27, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. Jimmy

    I only know this, we must make changes here. How ? I propose the cost of living be dropped to where the people of the U.S. can keep what they make now but everything else is dropped low so we may be able to buy, just for a season given to us by legislation and then We drop our wages compatable to our foreighn friends. Soon, This will give us a greater trade advantage and buisnesses will no longer control the lives of people to an unfortune spiral here in these states. Keep in mind, this will open up trade with the whole world, not just a few.

    January 8, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
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