Environmental issues popped up during a discussion of trade policy in last night’s debate between Democratic presidential contenders Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Clinton said she would “renegotiate the core labor and environmental standards” of NAFTA. Obama agreed, saying, “I intend to make certain that every [trade] agreement that we sign has the labor standards, the environmental standards, and the safety standards that are going to protect not just workers, but also consumers. We can’t have toys with lead paint in them that our children are playing with.” Obama and Clinton also agreed on the need to build a green economy. Said Obama, “We have to look at energy and the potential for creating green jobs that can not just save on our energy costs but, more importantly, can create jobs in building windmills that will produce manufacturing jobs here in Ohio, can put rural communities back on their feet by working on alternative fuels, making buildings more energy efficient. We can hire young people who are out of work and put them to work in the trade.” Clinton echoed those ideas and cited the example of Germany, which “made a big bet on solar power” and “created several hundred thousand new jobs … that can’t be outsourced.”

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