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How the prez candidates actually vote

The blogosphere has been alight with analysis of the presidential field on trade, both on the right and the left. But how have these candidates actually voted on the major trade issues?

Here are their fair trade vote records of those candidates that served in Congress, with a listing of where they went right, and wrong. And with so many candidates that served before 1990 (where we usually cut off our vote counter), we decided to go digging into the archives back as far as we could… to Richard Nixon’s original Fast Track House vote in 1973.

I make no attempt to weight the votes, or to account for the number of votes. So Joe Biden, who has made 15 bad trade votes, is listed as having a higher fair trade percentage than 2-bad vote Mike Gravel. Obviously, the number of bad votes would matter to most observers, so I’ll just list for you all of the information.

Democrats (from least fair trade to most):

  • Gravel – 0% fair trade voting record (0/3 votes). He voted wrong on Fast Track 1973 and 1974, and didn’t vote on Fast Track 1979.
  • Richardson – 10% fair trade voting record (1/10 votes). He voted right on the Canada FTA; wrong on Fast Track a whopping 5 times (1983, 1984, 1988, 1993, and 1998), and on Israel FTA, Fast Track disapproval, NAFTA and the WTO.
  • Biden – 25% fair trade voting record (5/20 votes). He voted right on Fast Track 2002 (once), and right on NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Central America and Oman. He voted wrong on Fast Track a whopping six times (1974 (twice), 1979, 1984, 1993, and 2002 (once)), on the Canada FTA, NAFTA, WTO, NAFTA for Africa (twice), China PNTR, Australia FTA, and Fast Track disapproval. He didn’t vote on Fast Track 1988.
  • Dodd – 39% fair trade voting record (7/18 votes). He voted right on Fast Track 2002 (twice), Fast Track disapproval, and on NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Central America and Oman. He voted wrong on Fast Track 3 times (1984, 1988, and 1993), and on Canada FTA, NAFTA, WTO, NAFTA for Africa (twice), China PNTR, and the Australia FTA. He did not vote on Fast Track 1979.
  • Clinton – 43% fair trade voting record (3/7 votes). She voted right on Fast Track 2002 (twice) and CAFTA. She voted wrong on NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Australia and Oman.
  • Obama – 50% fair trade voting record (1/2 votes). He voted right on CAFTA, wrong on the Oman FTA.
  • Edwards – 63% fair trade voting record (5/8 votes). He voted right on NAFTA for Africa (twice), Chile and Singapore, and Fast Track 2002 (once). He voted wrong on China PNTR and Fast Track 2002 (once). He did not vote on the Australia FTA.
  • Kucinich – 93% fair trade voting record (14/15 votes). It seems wrong to even give less than 100%, because he just didn’t show for the Morocco FTA vote (meaning one non vote). But in order to be consistent, I’ve got to have non-votes not count towards your fair trade percentage. On everything else, he voted the fair trade position (Fast Track 1998, 2001, 2002, NAFTA for Africa (twice), China PNTR, WTO withdrawal (twice), NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Australia, Central America, Bahrain and Oman).

Now for the GOP field. Same deal.

  • Brownback – 0% fair trade voting record (0/10 votes). Wrong on NAFTA for Africa (twice), on China PNTR, Fast Track 2002 (once), NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Australia, Central America, and Oman. Didn’t vote for Fast Track 2002 (once).
  • Thompson – 0% fair trade voting record (0/5 votes). Wrong on NAFTA for Africa (twice), Fast Track 2002 (twice), and China PNTR.
  • McCain – 6% fair trade voting record (1/16 votes). McCain voted right on Fast Track 1988; wrong on everything else (Canada FTA, Fast Track disapproval, Fast Track 1993 and 2002 (twice), NAFTA, WTO, NAFTA for Africa (once), Chile, Singapore, Australia, Central America, Oman, and China PNTR). Didn’t vote on NAFTA for Africa (once).
  • Tancredo – 47% fair trade voting record (7/15 votes). He voted right on China PNTR, WTO withdrawal (twice), and NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Central America, and Oman. Voted wrong on Fast Track 1998, NAFTA for Africa (twice), wrong on Fast Track 2001-02 (twice), and NAFTA expansions to Australia and Bahrain.
  • Hunter – 71% fair trade voting record (17/24 votes right). He voted wrong on Fast Track 1984 (twice), the Israel FTA, Fast Track 2001, and the Australia, Bahrain and Oman FTAs. He was right on Canada FTA, Fast Track 1988, Fast Track disapproval, Fast Track 1993, NAFTA, WTO, Fast Track 1998, NAFTA for Africa (twice), China PNTR, WTO withdrawal (twice), Fast Track 2002, NAFTA expansions to Chile, Singapore, Morocco and Central America.
  • Paul – 83% fair trade voting record (15/18 votes right). Like Kucinich, he didn’t show for the Morocco FTA, and he appears to have voted wrong on Fast Track 1984 (twice). But see note below. Everything else was right (Fast Track 1979, 1998, 2001, 2002, NAFTA for Africa (twice), Chile, Singapore, Australia, Central America, Bahrain, Oman, and China PNTR, and WTO withdrawal (twice).)

Puzzles I have for you, the reader:

  1. Why did John McCain vote against Fast Track in 1988? It’s his only fair trade vote.
  2. How did Ron Paul vote on H.R. 3398 on Oct. 10, 1984 (Fast Track 1984)? Was he the sole “no” vote?

Disclosure: Global Trade Watch has no preference among the candidates.

Comments

a drop in the ocean

How did Ron Paul vote on H.R. 3398 on Oct. 10, 1984 (Fast Track 1984)? Was he the sole “no” vote?


I can't find it. I've looked for an hour. I give. How did he vote?

Andrew

This is one of the reasons I'll vote for Kucinich.

oMan

I'd like to know ' How the prez candidates actually vote' as well

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Nice Post

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This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.

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