More Pro-NAFTA Sentiment, Even in North Dakota

By March 6, 2008Trade

From the Grand Forks Herald, the newspaper of the last major city (at least by Northern Plains standards) before you hit Manitoba, an editorial, “NAFTA helps grow U.S., N.D.”:

Manufacturing output has grown, not declined, in the U.S. under NAFTA. It’s up almost across the board –- as Grand Forks residents, when they drive past the local LM Glasfiber and Cirrus Design plants, can see.

Speaking of Grand Forks and the state, “North Dakota ranked top in the nation for export growth in 2007, according to U.S. Commercial Service reports,” the Bismarck Tribune reported recently.

“The state’s exports totaled $2 billion in 2007, up 34 percent from its $1.5 billion in exports in 2006; nationally, export growth was 12 percent more than the previous year.”

Given that ranking, it’s ironic that Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is a sharp critic of NAFTA. His views mean the state “leads the nation in both exports and protectionism,” the National Association of Manufacturers declared. But that’s par for the course for NAFTA, a policy about which contradiction is the political norm.

Our earlier post here. And for what it’s worth, we worked at the Herald in the 1990s, before Glasfiber and Cirrus Design Corp. set up its manufacturing operations in Grand Forks.

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