The US would have been much better off with Perot as president. Both Bush and Clinton supported NAFTA, and Clinton ushered China into the WTO.
No, the US experienced strong economic growth (stronger than it would have without NAFTA) and likewise strong job growth (maybe stronger than it would have been without NAFTA, that's less clear), but less job (or at least wage) growth than would have been expected with similar economic growth without NAFTA. Insofar as there was a “sucking sound”, it wasn't of jobs or wealth being sucked to Mexico from the US, it was of relative economic position being pulled to capital from labor in both the US and Mexico (also Canada, FWIW.)
> The US would have been much better off with Perot as president.
Not, from any evidence, based on first-order policy impacts from the Administration. Perhaps based on missing the impacts on the partisan alignment from the pinnacle of neoliberal consensus and the subsequent rightward surge of the Republican Party as it sought to distinguish itself from the Clintonian neoliberalism in the Democratic Party that was virtually identical (but for comparatively small differences on some culture war issues, but even there Clinton was mostly a rightward divergence for the Democrats) to the pre-Clinton Republican position, sure. Maybe bases on the partisan realignment that would have resulted from the Perot faction displacing one of the major parties, sure.
Certainly based on Perot not having strong-but-failed bids in 1992 and then against with his Reform Party in 1996 which, by qualifying for matching funds, brought a number of opportunists to seek the 2000 Reform Party nomination, including David Duke and Donald Trump, the latter of which cited the risk of association with the former as a reason for dropping out, but courted the same White Nationalist constituency when he ran again, this time for a major party nomination, after a decade and a half of retooling his political image.
> Both Bush and Clinton supported NAFTA
On trade policy, Bush, Clinton, and Perot all favored the capitalist class.
Bush did so fairly nakedly, and chose policies well-supported by modern economics given that goal.
Perot also did so fairly nakedly, but work mercantilist policies th t both theory and evidence had shown were suboptimal for centuries.
Clinton was like Bush, but with some at least rhetorical recognition that supporting the capitalist class in ways which produced aggregate growth could be counterproductive for the larger working class and that at least modest active interventions were necessary to assure that aggregate growth resulted in general benefit.
If one agreed with his ideological focus, Bush was the least wrong on policy. Clinton was, at least rhetorically, the least wrong on what was necessary for durable broad progress, though in practical first-order policy terms probably not different enough from Bush to make much difference in outcomes, as his mitigation measures were far too modest. Perot was the most wrong.