On Monday, Hillary Clinton challenged Obama’s credibility on the trade issue ahead of the nomination contest in Ohio, where concern over the NAFTA trade agreement has become a key issue.

“It raises questions about Senator Obama coming to Ohio and giving speeches about NAFTA and having his chief economic adviser tell the Canadian government that it was just political rhetoric,” she said at an early morning news conference in Ohio. (Forbes)
Hillary Clinton’s accusations are based on Barack Obama claiming opposition to NAFTA. (The North American Free Trade Agreement is an accord drafted during Clinton part I, so therefore Hillary Clinton does not have the luxury of attacking it.) Ohio is a manufacturing state that has been pretty hard hit by NAFTA and Barack Obama has been using NAFTA as way to both garner votes AND hit Hillary Clinton.

Interestingly enough, Canada defended Barack Obama over these accusations the Canadian Embassy in Washington released a statement essentially backing up the Obama camp’s version of the meeting between adviser Austan Goolsbee and officials at the Canadian consulate in Chicago.

“There was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private, including about NAFTA,” the embassy statement said. “We deeply regret any inference that may have been drawn to that effect.”

Barack Obama has caused a bit of an international stir with our neighbors to the North. This is Barack Obama’s first opportunity to demonstrate his ability to handle a foreign policy issue and the silence is deafening!

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