Perot in Providence: NAFTA Isn't Provident

ROSS PEROT stopped in Providence, R.I., to thank supporters for helping him work to defeat the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he said will send jobs to Mexico and severely weaken the United States financially.

Mr. Perot waved anti-NAFTA signs, led the crowd in singing ``God Bless America'' and a tune called ``I'll Remember in November'' and paid tribute to veterans by displaying a black Missing in Action flag on stage Sunday.

His speech before an estimated 1,200 people at Veterans Memorial Auditorium was part of a cross-country, anti-NAFTA blitz that has taken him to at least 70 cities, as well as on the airwaves.

``We're getting beaten up pretty bad right now and they're taking it out on me,'' Perot said. He said his critics were resorting to personal attacks against him because their position is ``illogical.''

The Texas billionaire said NAFTA will only help big companies who want to move their plants to Mexico so they can pay lower wages, while not lowering the prices of their products.

That will leave many American workers without jobs and unable to pay their taxes, which are needed to pay off the country's debt, he said. Midwest Floods Resume

The National Guard helped evacuate dozens of residents in northeastern Oklahoma early yesterday as two rain-swollen rivers rushed over their banks, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency.

At least a foot of water covered highways and rural roads into Wyandotte and two other Oklahoma communities - Miami and Quapaw - virtually cutting them off from the rest of the state. Schools in the three communities were closed yesterday.

On the positive side, the heavy downpours that soaked parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri last week dissipated Sunday. Meteorologists said no more rain was expected for the next few days.

Most of the flooding came from the Spring River, which was at a record 46 feet Sunday and threatening to go two feet higher. The nearby Neosho River was about eight feet above flood stage and expected to rise two more feet before cresting.

More than 15 inches of rain fell Friday night and Saturday morning in parts of Missouri as hundreds were evacuated.

Since Wednesday, three deaths in Missouri were blamed on the latest flooding, which followed the historic summer flooding across the Midwest. The Missouri River threatened towns where levees damaged by the summer floods are not yet repaired.

Charles Walker, operations officer for Missouri's State Emergency Management Agency, said Sunday conditions were improving across the state.

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