About Us

  • Eyes on Trade is a blog by the staff of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch (GTW) division. GTW aims to promote democracy by challenging corporate globalization, arguing that the current globalization model is neither a random inevitability nor "free trade." Eyes on Trade is a space for interested parties to share information about globalization and trade issues, and in particular for us to share our watchdogging insights with you! GTW director Lori Wallach's initial post explains it all.

Contact

« October 2012 | Main | December 2012 »

November 29, 2012

Live from Lima: Peruvian Press Briefed on Implications of Renco Case and Dangers of TPP

Picture1

Pictured Above: A press conference is held at the Hotel Melia in Lima on the $800 million investor-state case that the US-based Renco corporation launched against Peru on behalf of its subsidiary Doe Run ; HispanTV Interviews Public Citizen's Melinda St. Louis.

A press conference was held in Lima yesterday in conjunction with the events organized this week to increase awareness about the injustice of Renco’s investor-state case against Peru.

Several major Peruvian news outlets attended and were briefed on the case, including HispanTV, Gestion, El Comercio, and Servindi, among others. Featured experts presented on the dire situation in La Oroya, the implications of corporations' soaring usage of the investor-state system as an avenue to evade justice, and the increased rights that would be granted to such corporations through the TPP.

This morning, articles ran in several of the major newspapers, including Gestión, La República, and La Primera.

Australia has already announced publicly that it will not take part in the investor-state provisions of the TPP.  Will Peru heed the warning of Renco / Doe Run and follow suit?

Doe run peru_baner_web_grande_2

PUBLIC FORUM TONIGHT: Starting at 6 PM EST tonight, we will be live-tweeting the Public Forum over at @PCGTW. Community members will be invited to learn more from experts about Renco's investor-state attack and hear from those who have been directly affected by the pollution in La Oroya.

November 28, 2012

Live from Lima: Rising Awareness in Peru about the Dangers of Investor-State

 

Doe run peru_baner_web_grande_2

Yesterday, advocates of social justice in Peru kicked off a week of activities designed to increase awareness about the dangers of the investor-state system by highlighting one of the most egregious examples: the case that the U.S.-based Renco corporation has launched against Peru concerning the company's notorious metal smelter. Renco, owned by one of the richest men in the U.S., launched the investor-state attack on behalf of its subsidiary Doe Run, whose Peruvian metal smelter has severely contaminated the town of La Oroya, declared one of the ten most polluted sites in the world.

Several organizations are participating, including Public Citizen and Georgetown University’s Harrison Institute from the United States, along with RedGE, CooperAccion, Red Uniendo Manos Peru and other organizations from Peru. Rosa Amaro, the president of the Movement for Health in La Oroya (MOSAO for its Spanish initials) has also traveled to Lima to speak out on behalf of the citizens of La Oroya. The events organized for this week include a press briefing breakfast, an informational meeting for organizations in Peru, a public forum, and meetings with various government officials.

In case you haven’t been following the situation in Peru closely, the case that Renco has launched against Peru is one of the most outrageous examples of the dangers that the investor-state system poses to public health and the environment. Renco is using the system to try to evade the consequences of the massive pollution that the company has left in La Oroya and to avoid compensating those suffering from lead poisoning, air pollution, and water contamination in the company's wake.

Renco claims that the Peruvian government is attacking the corporation’s investor privileges by not granting it a third extension to comply with its unfulfilled 1997 commitment to install pollution mitigation devices in its smelter. Instead of fulfilling these promises, Renco is suing for $800 million in compensation. For more background, check out the analysis on our website.

Check back for more updates, videos, and photos of the events in Lima as the week progresses.

November 21, 2012

World Trade Organization Attacks Successful Canadian Clean Energy Program

Sierra Club and Public Citizen Express Disappointment

Geneva – The World Trade Organization (WTO) has just announced a ruling against Ontario’s successful renewable energy incentives program that is designed to reduce carbon emissions and create clean energy jobs. This highlights the threat posed by the WTO to a clean energy future. The WTO ruled that Ontario’s renewable energy incentives – or “feed-in tariff” – program violated the WTO rules that forbid treating local or domestic firms and products differently from foreign firms and products.

"As countries take steps to address the climate crisis, the last thing we need is the WTO interfering with innovative climate programs. Ontario’s solar and wind incentives program seeks to reduce dangerous carbon pollution and create clean energy jobs, and it should serve as a model for other countries, not a punching bag," said Ilana Solomon, Sierra Club Trade Representative.

Ontario’s renewable energy incentives program was established under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act of 2009. It increases incentives to develop clean and safe renewable energy by guaranteeing the provincial public electricity utility, Ontario Power Authority, will pay a competitive price for 20 years to companies for the wind, solar, and other clean energies they produce. Although the program is new, it has already achieved significant success, including contracts for an estimated 4,600 megawatts worth of clean energy and the creation of more than 20,000 jobs.

"Only an attack on this sort of job-creating, climate-chaos-combating policy could put the WTO in worse repute than last year’s string of WTO rulings ordering us to gut popular U.S. laws on country-of-origin meat labels, dolphin-safe tuna labels and limits on candy-flavored cigarettes marketed to kids," said Lori Wallach, Public Citizen Global Trade Watch Director. "Combating the climate crisis and transitioning to a clean-energy economy must include relocalizing production and creating green jobs, so having the WTO declare that governments cannot do this is simply intolerable."

The Sierra Club and Public Citizen are particularly disappointed that the U.S. decided to weigh in on this case by submitting a third-party brief pointing out how Ontario’s program violated WTO rules.

"Instead of attacking another countries’ clean energy program, the U.S. government should focus on how we will build on our own solutions to tackle the climate crisis and create clean energy jobs," Solomon said.

This case follows an alarming trend of anti-environment and anti-consumer rulings at the WTO.   In May 2012, the WTO ruled against U.S. dolphin-safe tuna labels, which they said discriminated against Mexican tuna fishers. And in June 2012, the WTO ruled against the highly popular country-of-origin labeling (COOL) for meat, which shows American consumers where their food is coming from and helps health regulators track food safety issues. In April 2012, the WTO ruled against the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, which bans the sale of candy and sweet-flavored cigarettes that attract youth to smoking.

November 13, 2012

WashPost Ignores Historic Inequality Under NAFTA, Cites Hypothetical Twinkie-Sized Gain

Yesterday the Washington Post’s WonkBlog engaged in some undeserved albeit tepid NAFTA cheerleading by profiling a new NBER study estimating that the deal has brought a tiny increase in real wages.  And I mean tiny—the authors use a mathematical model to project that the deal led to a 0.17% increase in real U.S. wages over a twelve-year period (1993 to 2005).  That means that the average U.S. worker, who was earning $22,000 in 1993, can thank NAFTA’s first twelve years for a real wage increase amounting to a whopping $37.  That’s right—according to the NAFTA-friendly study’s own theorized calculations, each worker should consider the annual worth of NAFTA to be close to that of a box of Twinkies: about three dollars. 

Does such a conclusion merit a blog post entitled “Study: NAFTA Raised Pay Here and Abroad?”  Probably not.  But that’s not the most concerning element of the WonkBlog piece.  The bigger elephant in the post is that “raised pay” from NAFTA is simply not the reality for the majority.  Neither the study nor the blog post address the real story of NAFTA and wages: that the deal has fueled a regressive redistribution of income from average workers to the wealthy.

Trade economists widely acknowledge that any U.S. income increases resulting from NAFTA-style trade deals will tend to disproportionately favor the wealthy while real wage reductions are likely to be the result for the rest of us.  In standard trade theory, the Stolper-Samuelson effect predicts that open trade will create increased demand for U.S. capital-intensive goods and reduced demand for U.S. labor-intensive goods, thereby increasing income for capital owners (i.e. the wealthy) while reducing wages for workers.  Under NAFTA, this regressive impact has moved from theory to reality.  One study by the Economic Policy Institute estimated that even after taking into account consumer savings from cheaper imports, a U.S. household with two median wage earners was losing $1,000 of earnings each year to NAFTA-style trade by 1995, increasing to a $2,000 annual loss by 2006.  The median U.S. worker probably finds little comfort in a new study that averages out gains at the top to transform her real $1,000 trade-related loss into a hypothetical $3 gain. 

The regressive influence of NAFTA-style trade on income distribution may help explain why income inequality in the NAFTA era has reached historical heights, now apparently surpassing even the inequality levels of 1774.  Median real incomes in the U.S. have been falling for the last decade, while the income of the richest 1% has been continually climbing.  Workers’ productivity has been steadily rising while labor’s share of income has been steadily falling.  Why are workers getting paid less while doing more?  Economists from institutions ranging from the Economic Policy Institute to the Federal Reserve have named NAFTA-style trade as a key answer (“increased globalization and trade openness,” in the words of Federal Reserve economists).  So the income-related takeaway from NAFTA is not the deal’s miniscule impact on aggregate wages (whether negative or positive), but its large impact on income inequality. 

But even if we were principally concerned with the miniscule aggregate impact, the study featured in the WonkBlog omits several key factors, calling into question the small positive impact it cites.  First, the study only aims to estimate the impacts of NAFTA’s tariff reductions, which were a focus of only 6 of the deal’s 22 chapters.  The authors make explicit the limitations of disregarding the brunt of the agreement’s content, stating, “Unquestionably, NAFTA had more provisions than only reducing tariff between members and by no means our results should be interpreted as the trade and welfare effects of the entire agreement” (pg. 27).  Non-tariff NAFTA provisions that could impact real wages include those found in the deal’s intellectual property chapter, as Dean Baker notes over at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.  The chapter grants pharmaceutical firms and other corporations anti-competitive patent extensions, which tend to inflate the cost of medicines and other patented products, thereby eroding consumers’ real wages. 

In addition, the wage increase cited by the WonkBlog ignores another side of the tariff reduction coin: loss of tariff revenue for all three NAFTA governments.  The study itself notes that this loss in fiscal revenue actually outweighed the purported real wage gains for Mexico and Canada.  Taking into account reduced tariff income, the authors conclude that the net income effect of NAFTA’s first twelve years is a 0.1% loss for both Canada and Mexico (pg. 25).  In the United States, the lost tariff revenue reduces the Lilliputian wage impact even further, yielding a purported 0.1% net increase to aggregate income.  At that rate, the hypothetical average U.S. worker did not see a gain of $37 under a dozen years of NAFTA, but just $22—less than an average tank of gas.  Meanwhile the actual median worker continues to lose at least $1,000 each year under NAFTA-style trade.  One of these facts seems worthy of a blog post.  One does not.  

November 07, 2012

Obama, Romney and Congressional Candidates Nationwide Used Trade-Themed Ads to Appeal to U.S. Majority Opposing Trade Status Quo, Reinforcing Public Anger and Building Expectations for Reform

Presidential Candidates Ran Three Times as Many Trade-Related Ads as in 2008; 30 States’ Congressional Race Ads Featured Criticism of Trade Status Quo; Composition of the Senate Shifts in Favor of Fair Trade

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An analysis of the 2012 election reveals a bipartisan race to align campaign positions with the American public’s opposition to current U.S. trade policies and the job offshoring they cause. Over the course of the past three months, a wave of ads focused mainly on job offshoring and secondarily on trade with China, has spotlighted the damage caused by current U.S. trade policies, fueling transpartisan expectations for reform and further complicating the path for the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “free trade” pact that is slated for completion in 2013, Public Citizen said today. 

The presidential race featured more than three times as many trade-themed ads as in 2008, creating a trade-reform-is-urgently-needed narrative that reinforces the majority position of the U.S. public. Following this trend, congressional candidates across 30 states deployed more than 125 ads criticizing the economic fallout of status quo trade policy.

Candidates who voted against Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) touted their fair-trade record. Many candidates, including incumbents who could not claim such a record, touted votes in favor of closing tax loopholes that incentivize offshoring, attacked their opponent on offshoring, or pledged to be “tough on China.” The magnitude of trade-themed ads to which the American public was exposed in this election cycle was reinforced by an unprecedented prominence of trade themes in the presidential debates and stump speeches.

“Given Americans’ unhappiness with our trade status quo, the reason candidates nationwide continually spotlighted job offshoring and other damage caused by unfair trade was to win. But the result is that Americans have been saturated with trade-related messaging that reinforces their anger about getting screwed by unfair trade, which creates heightened expectations that the people they just elected will do something to fix these problems and certainly not support  more of the same,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

Public Citizen analyzed the voting record of incumbents and the detailed public positions of new candidates and found that the election increased the net number of fair-trade members of the Senate by at least six, including with the addition of some long-time fair-trade champions. In the House of Representatives, too many candidates’ positions remain unknown to assess the overall fair trade balance.

“As we head into 2013, when the biggest trade fights since NAFTA are expected, we will make sure voters know whether their newly elected representatives act to redress the trade-related problems against which they campaigned,” said Ben Beachy, research director at Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “Given that this election cycle’s trade spotlight only reinforced public rejection of broken trade policies, woe be to those who ran for change and then go on to support trade-as-usual.”

In focusing on the damaging outcomes of our current trade policy, both presidential candidates and numerous congressional incumbents in tight races campaigned against their own records and positions of support for FTAs based on the model of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which includes investment provisions that incentivize American job offshoring and procurement rules that ban Buy American preferences and thus send U.S. tax dollars offshore.

 “Underlying the cynicism of those who campaigned against offshoring while supporting trade pacts that caused it is the reality that supporting more-of-the-same on trade is not a defensible position with the American public,” said Wallach. “Scant press coverage for recent trade pact votes allowed some candidates to attempt a bait-and-switch in 2012. But now they face 2013’s high-profile trade battles royale over an 11-country NAFTA expansion to Asia and Latin America and yet another grant of presidential trade authority with their constituents expecting them to vote against more of the same.”

Public Citizen’s detailed analysis of candidate ads and website trade content is below:

• President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney deployed an unprecedented 33 trade-related ads this election cycle. In 2008, Obama used nine trade-themed ads, while GOP challenger John McCain ran just one such ad. This time, Obama’s trade ads more than doubled to 21, while Romney’s 12 trade-themed ads surpassed the number Obama ran in 2008.

 Fifty-seven percent of candidates in competitive or open House or Senate races also addressed trade policy through paid general election ads or positions taken on campaign websites, including 72 percent of Democratic candidates and 41 percent of GOP candidates.

• Among all paid ads used by the 294 campaigns, support for trade deals was limited to one ad in which the GOP candidate for Hawaii’s open Senate seat, former Gov. Linda Lingle, attacked Senator-elect Maize Hirono for opposing all three FTAs in 2011 when she was a House member. Despite expectations for a close race, Hirono beat Lingle by 26 percentage points.

• As further evidence of how politically untenable support for the trade status quo has become, very few congressional candidates included content on their websites supportive of any NAFTA-style pact, regardless of their voting record for such deals. Only 22 of 294 candidates in competitive or open seat races made favorable mention of trade pacts on their websites.

• Campaigning against status quo trade policy even penetrated traditionally “free trade” states such as Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota Texas, and Utah, Trade-focused campaigns have long been a fixture of congressional races in the Rust Belt, Southeast and other areas hit with particularly heavy job losses from NAFTA-style deals. But the 2012 campaign featured trade-related ads across 30 states, spanning the country from Maine to Hawaii. In Colorado, candidates such as Ed Perlmutter (D), Joe Miklosi (D) and Sal Pace (D) blanketed TV channels with criticism of opponents’ offshoring records while backing job-creating Buy America provisions, which would be barred under the TPP deal being negotiated.

 In the Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin Senate races, winning candidates employed trade ads. Re-elected Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), the Senate’s leading advocate for fair trade and corporate America’s No. 1 Senate target for defeat, used two trade-themed ads in a campaign that overcame $20.7 million in independent expenditures against him. In North Dakota, Senator-elect Heidi Heitkamp (D) also ran two trade-themed ads in her successful campaign against Rep. Rick Berg (R), who had voted for the Korea, Colombia and Panama FTAs in 2011.  As North Dakota’s attorney general, Heitkamp was a leading fair-trade advocate, noting to the Los Angeles Times in 1999: “From my perspective, NAFTA and other trade agreements present the greatest challenge to state sovereignty that we have.”  Sen. John Tester (D-Mont.), who was elected in 2006 on a campaign featuring his stance against harmful trade agreements and who consistently voted as he had campaigned, again used advertising on the theme. In a still-not-called race, Tester has a sizeable lead over GOP candidate Dennis Rehberg, who voted for nearly every NAFTA-style trade deal during the decade-plus he served  as Montana’s U.S. House representative. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) used the theme to win re-election despite her support for the NAFTA-style deals with Korea and Panama passed by Congress last year. In battleground state Pennsylvania, Sen. Bob Casey (D) launched five distinct ads touting his record as a fair-trader, including his consistent opposition to NAFTA-style deals: “I’m Bob Casey. My opponent and I just disagree. The one-sided trade deals he supports aren’t competition. Tom Smith backs laws that send our jobs to Asia, Central America, South America … everywhere but here. I’ll always fight against unfair trade laws and I helped pass legislation to put tariffs on China now. I approve this message because I’m proud to stand up for Pennsylvania.”

• For House members in competitive races, their fair-trade voting records and focus on opponents’ support for damaging trade pacts was often critical to winning.
-- Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who has a 100 percent fair-trade voting record and is a fair-trade leader in the House, won an intense battle between two senior  incumbents, beating House Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who had supported most trade pacts from NAFTA on. Sherman’s fair-trade record was one of the only differences between the candidates’ voting records, giving Sherman the labor and grassroots support to overcome a withering array of Berman endorsements, from the Los Angeles Times to scores of Democratic and GOP policymakers.

-- In the closely fought race for Iowa’s second district seat, trade played a large role. Both Rep. Dave Loebsack (D) and John Archer (R) employed the trade theme in paid ads. Archer, a John Deere executive, attacked Loebsack’s votes against the three FTAs in 2011 in a news release while at the same time running an ad generally criticizing the offshoring trend. Loebsack directly criticized his challenger for supporting the NAFTA-style trade deals: “He’s a corporate executive who supports more unfair trade with Korea, Panama and Columbia.” Trade issues also took center stage in the debates in this race, with Loebsack using the issue to distinguish himself from his opponent: “It’s about the NAFTA-style free trade agreements that John supports that I don’t support.” Loebsack, who has a 100 percent pro-fair-trade record, beat Archer handily.  

-- In a neck-and-neck rematch of a 2010 race in upstate New York, fair-trader Dan Maffei (D) targeted Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R) for her votes last year for the NAFTA-style deals with Korea, Colombia and Panama to successfully reverse her upset of his incumbency in 2010. In one of Maffei’s paid ads, the flags of the three FTA countries surround the text “Congresswoman Buerkle: Unfair Trade,” as an announcer states, “Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle voted for tax breaks for outsourcing American jobs [and for] unfair trade agreements.” When previously in Congress, Maffei was a co-sponsor of major trade reform legislation called the TRADE Act of 2009.

• In several races, both the Republican and Democratic candidates used the trade theme, competing to portray their opponents as more to blame for offshoring. Cheri Bustos (D) took Illinois’ 17th-district seat from incumbent Rep. Bobby Schilling (R) after a campaign that included multiple ads to paint Shilling, who voted for the three FTAs last year, as responsible for the offshoring of U.S. jobs. In one ad, Bustos says: “On trade, Washington has rigged the game and sent our jobs overseas,” after which she blames Schilling for being part of the problem. Schilling  responded  with an ad that sought to portray Bustos as the one responsible for offshoring, despite her publicly stated opposition to various trade pacts. Bustos ended up toppling Schilling by a healthy six point margin. In North Carolina’s seventh district, one of the three trade-focused ads by Democratic incumbent Mark McIntyre, who will become the only white Democrat remaining in North Carolina’s congressional delegation after redistricting if he maintains his narrow lead, featured the congressman outside a closed Converse shoe factory saying: “Now this plant’s closed, and these shoes are made in Asia. The fact is our state has already lost 110,000 jobs just to China, and America's trade policy is making it even worse. David Rouzer supports tax breaks for companies that send jobs like these to Asia ... I’m Mike McIntyre and this [pointing to the closed Converse factory] is why I opposed NAFTA and all the other bad trade deals that have sent our jobs abroad.” Republican challenger David Rouzer retorted with an ad that faulted McIntyre for authoring “no bills to stop Converse from shipping jobs overseas.”

 Throughout the campaign, both Obama and Romney largely omitted references to unpopular trade agreements that they both support, instead harnessing public ire about the damage caused by such pacts and then pivoting to attack the other as being soft on China or responsible for job offshoring. Despite the unprecedented number of trade-themed ads, neither candidate’s ads even mentioned the FTAs approved last year with Korea, Colombia and Panama, nor the sweeping TPP deal, despite both candidates’ stated support of the pacts. Obama’s silence regarding the FTAs in paid ads is particularly notable given that their passage was perhaps Obama’s most significant legislative achievement in the 112th Congress and occurred with mainly GOP support and thus could have been used to counter Romney’s core argument that Obama could not work with Congress to make progress. Ninety percent of Obama’s trade-related ads painted Romney as friendly to offshoring and Obama as tough on offshoring. Romney, meanwhile, used 75 percent of his trade-related ads to attack Obama for his China trade policy, while committing Romney to “crack down” on China.

• Offshoring was by far the most prominent trade-related theme in the 2012 election for both GOP and Democratic candidates. Paid ads condemning offshoring constituted 72 percent of trade-related ads in open and competitive congressional races and 64 percent in the presidential race. Offshoring criticism also dominated campaign websites, including 48 percent of the trade mentions on congressional websites in open and competitive races, and 54 percent on the presidential campaign sites. However, for the incumbents whose trade messaging defied their own voting records, trade agreements were conveniently omitted as a cause of offshoring. Democrats in this category tended to blame offshoring on tax loopholes that incentivize companies to send jobs abroad, while Republicans tended to blame misdirected stimulus spending, excessive regulation or onerous taxation. Eighteen Democrats and Republicans used these pivot claims to campaign against the offshoring of jobs in 2012 despite voting just last year in favor of the Korea FTA, under which thousands of U.S. jobs have already disappeared. Since the FTA went into effect this year, U.S. exports to Korea have fallen by $1.2 billion while imports from Korea have risen, yielding a 34 percent increase in the job-killing U.S.-Korea trade deficit.

 A secondary theme that emerged was a commitment to “get tough on China” with subthemes of currency manipulation or non-compliance with patent protections. While numerous Republicans and Democrats sought to paint their opponents as soft on China, there was little mention of the TPP, which is envisioned as a docking agreement that China could eventually join. Indeed, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk has stated that he “would love nothing more” than to see China join this NAFTA-style deal with the United States, which would likely intensify the trend of jobs lost to China. The exception to the quietude on TPP was newly elected U.S. senator from Maine, Angus King (I), who repeatedly criticized the deal at campaign events. 

• More than 40 percent of House and Senate incumbents in tight races who indicted the trade status quo in paid ads or campaign websites have voted for the current trade model more often than they voted against it. A half dozen Republican incumbents ran ads attacking current trade policy despite a 100 percent track record of support for every single NAFTA-style trade deal arising under their tenure. These include Allen West (R-Fla.), David Rivera (R-Fla.), Bobby Schilling (R-Ill.), Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.), the incumbent who lost the headline-grabbing battle for Massachusetts’ Senate seat. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) stands out among Democratic candidates who used the trade theme despite a voting record for unfair trade. Last year, Richmond voted for the NAFTA-style deals with Korea and Panama that both include special protection to facilitate U.S. corporations’ job offshoring. As well, an increase in the U.S. trade deficit with Korea since that pact went into effect already had cost U.S. jobs.  Incredibly, Richmond chose to attack his challenger in a paid ad for supporting offshoring-prone trade deals. Even more ironically, Richmond cited his own accountability: “I’ve taken responsibility for my actions because public officials must be accountable. And we should hold Congressman Cao accountable for his record: supporting trade deals with China that send our jobs overseas.” While the United States actually has no trade deal with China, it does now have job-eroding deals with Korea and Panama, thanks to Richmond’s support.

To obtain these findings, Public Citizen monitored campaign ads and websites in the presidential race and in all congressional races with open seats, new seats or seats designated as competitive by the Cook Political Report. The 144 tracked congressional races include 249 campaigns for the House of Representatives and 45 campaigns for the Senate. For each race, Public Citizen researchers scanned general election paid ads posted through Nov. 5 on the campaigns’ websites or official YouTube channels. In addition, researchers used software designed to scrape official campaign websites for references to a list of trade-related terms. Researchers then manually studied the results of the software scan to verify relevance before tabulating trade-related statements.

The full array of trade-themed 2012 general election campaign ads may be viewed here.

###

Recent Posts

Subscribe