McCain backs NAFTA impact despite criticism

February 29, 2008 7:42:20 PM PST
Republican John McCain says the desire by Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama to renegotiate NAFTA would jeopardize crucial military support from Canada. McCain, campaigning today in Texas, used a town-hall style meeting to emphasize his support for the trade agreement.

The effects of the trade pact are still hotly debated, but studies indicate the deal has resulted in record exports from Texas to Canada and Mexico. But a lot of blue-collar workers believe it has cost jobs.

McCain says that trade and national security are "interconnected with each other."

Both Democratic candidates said at a debate this week that they would insist on renegotiating NAFTA and would threaten to opt out of the agreement unless Canada and Mexico come to the negotiating table.