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Lou Dobbs Tonight - Transcript

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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT 06:00 PM Eastern Standard Time May 19, 2004 Wednesday

GUESTS: Janet Napolitano, Diana Buttu, Jim Demint, Marcy Kaptur Janet Napolitano, Diana Buttu, Jim Demint, Marcy Kaptur



REP. JIM DEMINT ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: Lou, I'm surprised that the information is sometimes used on this show and with politicians. Our unemployment rate in this country is 1 percent lower than before NAFTA. And our manufacturing output has increased 40 percent. And we've got about 6.5 million jobs that are American job that is came from outsourcing of other countries. As you continue to talk about trade, let's just look at the facts. In South Carolina, we're expanding exports of 2.5 times the national average. And most of the jobs now in South Carolina and a quarter of the jobs in this country are dependent on exports. So I do believe that expanding our relationships in this hemisphere with the Central American countries will help us be competitive with the Asians, particularly in industries important to South Carolina like textiles.

DOBBS: Congresswoman Kaptur, your thoughts?

REP. MARCY KAPTUR (D), OHIO: My thoughts are from the statistics I've looked at, South Carolina has lost 250,000 jobs during the 1990s. And when you look at NAFTA as the template for the trade, we have gone into deeper deficit with Mexico and Canada since NAFTA signing. With all the jobs we've lost to Mexico and Canada, why would we want to expand it to CAFTA?

We ought to fix what's wrong with NAFTA and stop the hemorrhage of good jobs in this country. Over the last three years we've lost 3 million more jobs at an accelerating rate. Our standard of living is going down. People are losing their health insurance benefits. And even education is more unaffordable to our youth who want to go on to college. We have a huge trade deficit, which is actually a job deficit, and a huge growing budget deficit.

Our trade deficit with China, Mexico and Canada really has cost us millions and millions of jobs. We ought to have trade reciprocity, a balance, not these huge deficits.

DOBBS: Congressman.

DEMINT: Lou, I can assure you the sky not falling. There are more Americans working today than ever in our history. We are gaining more jobs from exporting. Certainly, jobs have always been changing. That's nothing new. We blamed it on the Japanese years ago and then Mexico. Mexico and Canada have become our second and third leading customer of South Carolina products. America has so much overcapacity if we don't sell to other nations, we're not going to be able to produce and have manufacturing in this country. I really think if you put the facts on the table, you will see that the only way to grow our economy in the future is to expand our exports. To do that, we have to become the best place in the world to do business. The problem is not trade. That's the opportunity. The problem is we make it too expensive to do business in this country through our tax code, our junk lawsuits, the cost of energy. You go down the list. It's 22 percent more expensive to do business in America. Not in China but our leading trading partners.

DOBBS: Congressman, I work hard to be neutral on these issues in our face- offs. I have to say this to you. We have not run a trade surplus in this country for 28 years.

DEMINT: I'm not saying we have a trade surplus.

DOBBS: I know you're not. I'm saying to you, we've had a massive trade deficit. What are we going to do about it?

DEMINT: South Carolina has a trade deficit with North Carolina and Georgia and New York.

DOBBS: Congressman, you're not going to compare a trade deficit among states of this nation to a trade deficit with, you just mentioned Mexico, with Canada, the European Union, China, Japan, a half a trillion dollars, Congressman.

DEMINT: We are the wealthiest country in the world and we buy more than these others.

REP. MARCY KAPTUR (D), OHIO: You know what's happening is we are exporting our jobs, not our products. The Congressman might have a few examples he can point to where they're exporting a little bit. The imports so dwarf the exports going out. If you look at the last month of job creation in this country, half of the 200,000 new jobs are temporary jobs with no benefits. They're part-time jobs with no benefits. They're service jobs, not jobs that produce real additional wealth for our country. So I think he's sort of not looking at the whole ledger. He's not looking at the imports, only at the exports of jobs, not products.


DEMINT: Let's come back and argue some more. The facts are on our side.

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