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For Big Apple's Sen.,
Fruit Worth A Fight

It sounded like a throwaway line when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) interjected it into her remarks on NAFTA--the North American Free Trade Agreement--during last week's AFL-CIO debate in Chicago. "NAFTA and the way it's been implemented has hurt a lot of American workers," she said. "In fact, I did a study in New York loking at the impact of NAFTA on business people, workers and farmers who couldn't get their products into Canada despite NAFTA."

What was she talking about? a skeptical reporter wanted to know. Back from the Senate office came a link to a September 2006 report from the Clinton, a 14-page opus titled "Barriers Faced by New York State Agricultural Producers to Trade with Canada."

It opens an unexpected window on this constantly surprising politician. As early as 2002, it appears that Clinton was working on both the Bush administration and the Canadians to assuage complaints from her farmers, frustrated by their efforts to find markets north of the border for dairy products, fruits and vegetables, wine and flowers.

But the problems persist, and "this report serves as a call to action for the U.S. Trade Representative to make the removal of these Canadian trade bariers a top priority in its negotiatons with the Canadian government and to put the Canadian government on notice that these practices should not and cannot continue."
Clinton is particularly forceful on the subject of apples.

"The non-tariff trade barrier imposed by Canada has been a major concern to the New York apple industry and Senator Clinton for many years.....The magnitude of Canadian trade barriers is partiicuarly striking when one compares New York apple exports to Canada with New York apple exports to the United Kindgdom. As demonstrated in Table 1 below, New York ships two to three times more apples to the United Kiingdom than to Canasda, despite the fact that New York shares a border with Canada and the United Kingdom is thousands of miles away and across the Atlantic Ocean.

The report states: "Senator Clinton has long been an advocate on behalf of New York apple growers on this issue."

So, who knew?
--David S. Broder

By Washington Post editors  |  August 13, 2007; 10:03 AM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , David Broder  
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Comments

I am very committed to Senator Clinton's campaign for President. I think she has all the qualities it will take to lead this nation. I also think she will surround herself with outstanding individuals who will generate a new form of leadership in this country. She has done a super job of representing NY State for the past 7 years...go Hillary!!!

Posted by: rskolnik | August 13, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I like her she's got my vote and that is a lot because I in the past voted the other way but not this time. She has impressed me a lot. Go Hillary!!!!

Posted by: antonio3 | August 13, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I live in upstate New York and I can tell you that she has worked diligently to be voice for upstate business. She has won over critics who were skeptical about her ideology and ability. In a heavily Republican, conservative area she exceeded expectations.

Posted by: rdklingus | August 13, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a Hillary-for-President supporter (I like Obama), but as a New Yorker I have been very impressed with her as a Senator who is dedicated to her home state. She has far exceeded my expectations in her 7 years, always keeping an eye on the local, even as she has positioned herself as a national political figure. Issues like this show why she won with over 60 percent of the vote in 2006, and why she's such a good politician. That said, trying to do favors for EVERYONE in the country clearly isn't a viable plan, so it remains to be seen how her style, which worked in one state, will translate into a national campaign.

Posted by: qkanga | August 13, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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