In 1992, the phrase “giant sucking sound” referring to the aftermath of the United States ratifying NAFTA and the resulting jobs exodus to the south of the border came into the American lexicon. The originator of that phrase was billionaire businessman Ross Perot. On Tuesday, Perot’s passing due to a short bout with Leukemia was announced. He was 89.
Perot, whose 19% of the vote in 1992 stands among the best showings by an independent candidate in the past century, died early Tuesday at his home in Dallas surrounded by his devoted family, family spokesman James Fuller said.
“In business and in life, Ross was a man of integrity and action. A true American patriot and a man of rare vision, principle and deep compassion, he touched the lives of countless people through his unwavering support of the military and veterans and through his charitable endeavors,” Fuller said in a statement….
“Ross was the unusual combination of his father, who was a powerful, big, burly cotton trader — a hard-ass, practical, cut-deals person — and a mother who was a little-bitty woman who was sweet, warm, wonderful,” said Morton Meyerson, the former EDS and Perot Systems CEO. “Ross was tough, smart, practical, loved to negotiate. But he had a warm and kind heart, too.”
As beloved as the man was to his own family and circle, the American people should be forever grateful that Perot warned us with a fairly graphic term as to what would happen if either President George H.W. Bush or President Bill Clinton signed the disastrous treaty. It did not matter who was in office, the North American Free Trade Agreement was just what Perot warned: a siphoning of middle-class jobs out of the country where labor was cheaper.
In a way, Perot’s failed presidential bids led to the rise of President Donald Trump. If it was not for the mess the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations made of the nation’s economic situation, a President Trump might not have been needed.