(Des Moines, IA) Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan on Monday said bad border-control policy in the southwest U.S. is partly to blame for the nation’s drug problem.

“The NAFTA agreement, some of us argued that it would open up that border, wide open, to narcotics in the United States and now something like 80 percent of the cocaine and the heroin and the marijuana in the United States that are sold here are coming up these highways into the United States and a goodly share of the methamphetamine are coming up as well,” Buchanan told reporters during a news conference in Des Moines.

Buchanan has long been a critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement and has called for better policing of the U.S./Mexico border to curtail illegal immigration. He now adds an influx of illegal drugs to his border-control argument.

“I think you need a lot tougher policy with regards to the Mexican government and getting cooperation from them,” Buchanan said. “They’ve got to be enlisted more actively in the war on drugs and frankly you gotta take a look at trade policies that allow trucks to come almost uninspected into the United States which is how a lot of this stuff is coming in.”

Buchanan said George W. Bush, the Republican party’s frontrunner, will do no better than the Clinton Administration in cracking down on the border.

“Governor Bush is open borders on immigration. He’s pro-NAFTA….He’s a globalist. He agrees with Clinton and Gore on all those issues and I disagree with Clinton and Gore on all those issues. So this is going to be a battle between economic patriotism and economic nationalism versus globalism. I stand against the Clinton/Gore/Bush agenda on all of them,” he said.

Buchanan’s remarks came after a tour of the “House of Mercy” in Des Moines, a home for mothers who’re kicking a drug or alcohol habit. The residential facility provides child care to the women’s kids as they complete rehab programs and enter the work world.

“These folks are dealing here with the victims of the drug war, the casualties of the drug war and it’s a powerful case, I think, when you see those children that we really have to do better in fighting that drug war on every single front, not just simply — as they say — on the demand level, but on the supply level coming into this country,” Buchanan said.