This one’s a riot.

The Times – Hillary Clinton manufactures a strategy to win blue-collar votes — but it’s risky. Bronwen Maddox: World Briefing

Hillary Clinton is playing a tricky game in questioning the advantages of free trade in her attempt to win over blue-collar workers before the votes next week that will determine whether there is still life in her bid for the presidential nomination.

In attacking the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), one of her husband’s proudest achievements, she does not have economics on her side.

Does she ever? Does she have anything on her side?

European officials, listening to this outpouring of scepticism about trade, are dearly hoping that both are doing no more than Democratic candidates have always done, in playing to the union vote, and would not be so protectionist in practice.


…But within that cheery overall picture, it is true that manufacturing was hit hard. The Carnegie report noted that more than half a million American workers had been certified under a programme to cover those who had lost jobs directly because of Nafta, even if more than that number overall had also gained work because of the pact.

That is why there is still political mileage in challenging the value of free trade, as Hillary has done, to the dismay of governments abroad. But it is dishonest, given the evidence of the overall benefit to the US, of which she must be aware.