HIGHTOWER: Clinton/Dole Trade Advisors
On a lot of issues, I look at Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and see almost no difference between them. One is Tweedledumb and the other is Tweedledumber.Take trade policy. These two guys were thick as thieves when it came to hanging the twin albatrosses of NAFTA and GATT around America's neck, and both continue to sing in perfect harmony about the glories of the New Global Economy.One reason they are so alike is that their foreign-trade advisors all hail from the same tar pit -- they're Washington lobbyists for foreign interests. Bob Dole's chief trade advisor, Claud Gingrich, comes from the firm of L.A. Mottley and Company, which represents Brazilian industry and the Phillipines. Dole's campaign treasurer, Robert Lighthizer, comes from the lobby group of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher [pronounced mar] & Flom (as in flim-flom, I guess) which has represented the government of Brazil. The head of Dole's trade advisory group is Judith Bello from the firm of Sidley and Austin, which lobbies for Hong Kong and Japan's Nissan Motor Co.Clinton's top trade specialists also have been hired guns for foreign corporations, working to bend US laws and regulations to the advantage of America's competitors. Charlene Barshevsky, the acting U.S. Trade Representative, formerly represented the Canadian lumber industry. Clinton's Deputy National Security Advisor, Samuel Berger, formerly represented Toyota. And Stuart Eizenstat, Clinton's Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade, previously has had British Airways and Hitachi of Japan on his client list.If the foreign entanglements of their in-house advisors is not enough to keep Clinton and Dole skipping merrily down the same path toward the New World Order, their Big Money Backers are -- both candidates have raised millions from the very same global corporations that now demand trade policies that profit them -- at our expense.