DNC - McCain Watch: Senator John McCain vs. American Jobs

Washington, DC--While John McCain travels to Colombia and Mexico this week, he'll be talking about how trade creates jobs. What he won't mention is that the trade deals he has favored have created jobs overseas, not here at home. According to one study, NAFTA has actually displaced over 1 million jobs in this country, including 16,000 in his home state of Arizona. And now Senator McCain is pushing for more unbalanced trade agreements that help companies at the expense of American workers.

It's not surprising then that recent news reports have shown Senator McCain's advisers and fundraisers having ties to companies that have or would directly benefit from these trade deals in the future. Senior adviser Charlie Black's lobbying firm has made nearly two million dollars from lobbying on behalf of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, which does business in Colombia and has been accused of "complicity in the murder of [Colombian] peasants."

If American workers want a president they can trust to stand up for them, they won't find it in Senator McCain.


McCain has voted with President Bush 95 percent of the time in 2007. According to Congressional Quarterly, He also has a record of heartily supporting Bush on some of his most controversial priorities, including the Iraq war and comprehensive immigration reform. In 2007, as he ramped up for his second White House run, McCain voted with Bush 95 percent of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly, which tallied votes McCain was present for on issues in which the administration took a position." [Arizona Republic, 4/6/08]

McCain Predicted 316,000 New Jobs in 1993. Similarly, the NAFTA could result in the creation of 316,000 new jobs in this country, as well as tens of thousands of jobs in my home State of Arizona, in addition to adding considerably to overall economic output in Arizona, the United States and Mexico. President Clinton says that we must have safeguards to protect our workers and the environment. I agree that it is important that we negotiate these side agreements, but they should not forestall moving forward on the underlying agreement. [Congressional Record, 2/18/1993]

NAFTA Net Displacement Was One Million Workers. A 2006 Economic Policy Institute study found that NAFTA had displaced just over 1 million jobs in this country, and net job loss of 16,000 in Arizona. [Scott, Salas & Campbell, Revisiting NAFTA, 9/28/2006; http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/bp173 ]

Now He Tells Us -- McCain Acknowledges Problems With NAFTA. After telling the Des Moines Register that NAFTA has been a success, "created millions of jobs" and "has helped the economies of all three of these nations," McCain said: "There have been winners and losers and that's the problem. … Have people lost jobs? Yes they have, and they're going to lose jobs, though the overall gain has been pretty impressive." [Interview with Des Moines Register, 11/27/2007, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86QwI-6TWic ]

McCain Told Steel Workers in Ohio That Their Jobs Were Not Coming Back. During a campaign event in Youngstown, Ohio, McCain touted free-trade policies, a member "of the audience asked Sen. McCain what he would do to avoid a collapse like that of the steel mills in the future, he replied, "I can't look you in the eye and tell you that I believe those jobs are coming back."" [Wall Street Journal, 4/23/2008]

McCain Told Michigan Voters That Their Jobs Aren't Coming Back. While campaigning during the primary, McCain told Michigan voters "I've got to give you some straight talk: Some of the jobs that have left the state of Michigan are not coming back… They are not. And I am sorry to tell you that." [Boston Globe, 1/10/2008]

McCain Adviser Lobbied for Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Which Does Business In Colombia. "Since 1998, the lobbying firm headed until recently by Charlie Black, one of Mr. McCain's closest confidants, has earned more than $1.8 million representing the Occidental Petroleum Corporation, the leading foreign producer of gas and oil in Colombia. The lobbying firm, BKSH & Associates, has also represented Colombian textile and apparel manufacturers and a former foreign minister and presidential candidate who is also a prominent businesswoman….Occidental's activities in Colombia have long been controversial, both within that country and among human-rights, indigenous-rights and environmental groups abroad," having been accused of "complicity in the killing of peasants" and polluting lands. [New York Times, 7/1/08]