Former Vice President Joe Biden defended his old vote to support the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Monday.
“Fair trade is important,” Biden said to the Associated Press while campaigning in New Hampshire. “Not free trade. Fair trade. And I think that back in the time during the Clinton administration, it made sense at the moment.”
Earlier in the campaign, Biden defended his vote on NAFTA while campaigning in Iowa at an ice cream stop, insisting that it was “not a mistake.”
Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders continue to criticize Biden’s support of NAFTA.
“I helped lead the fight against NAFTA. He voted for NAFTA,” Sanders said in an interview with CNN. “I helped lead the fight against PNTR [permanent normal trade relations] with China. He voted for it. I strongly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He supported it.”
Biden continues to defend the idea of “fair” trade but has not detailed his strategy for improving existing trade deals that he supported in his political career.
“I’m not a free trader. I’m a fair trader,” he said in Iowa.
President Donald Trump opposes NAFTA, reworking the agreement to get Mexico and Canada to make important concessions in a trade deal called the USMCA. That deal still has to be ratified by Congress.