This week in trade on the trail...
From the CNN/You Tube Republican debate:
My question for the candidates are, what are you going to do to make sure that these kind of toys don't make their way into our homes and that we have safe toys that are made in America again and we keep jobs in America?
Tancredo: It is illegal to import that kind of thing. The problem is, of course, no one really pays a lot of attention to a lot of our laws, with regard to immigration of both people and, now in this case, of course, items, goods and services.
I voted against permanent normalized trade relations with China -- this is one reason why. It wasn't -- that was never devised simply to be a place for us to sell our products; it was devised to be a place where we could get cheap labor to then import products to the United States.
So, one of the things you'd have to do, and I certainly would intend to do, is to change our trade arrangement entirely -- with China, by the way, in particular, but with other countries, as well, that violate those agreements.
Hunter: China is cheating on trade, and they're using that $200 billion trade deficit over the United States to buy ships, planes and missiles. They are clearly arming.
And it's in the interest of the United States to stop China's cheating. My bill, incidentally, that's up right now would do that.
But what we all ought to do in this Christmas season, with about a month to go before Christmas is buy American.
That might hire the young person. That just might keep your neighbor from losing his job, and it might help that young person coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan in uniform to have a job when they get back.
Let's buy American this Christmas season.
According to the LA Times, "Paul believes in threat of North American superhighway":
Paul's followers talk about such conspiracy theories as "merging the United States with Canada and Mexico . . .," the questioner said in a YouTube video shown during the Wednesday debate. "Do you really believe in all this?"
Paul did not miss a beat. The Texas congressman coolly raised the specter of a dire new national threat -- an as-yet unbuilt superhighway.
During the Wednesday debate, Paul also linked the purported NAFTA highway to his concerns about the Trilateral Commission -- an enduring bugaboo of conspiracy theorists -- and the World Trade Organization's "control [of ] our drug industry, our nutritional products." Paul added: "I don't like big government in Washington, so I don't like this trend toward international government."
Read (PDF) our fact sheet on the Myths and Facts of the Superhighway.
From the Quad City Times, "Bill Clinton Praises Hillary, Defends NAFTA":
Peppering his remarks with words like "Hillary says," "she believes" and "Hillary's proposed," the ex-president also gave a defense of sorts of his own trade policies, saying the Bush administration hasn't enforced those deals.
Trade agreements, like NAFTA, which Clinton signed, have been criticized in Iowa, largely because of their impact on the state's manufacturing base. Even Sen. Clinton has said there should be a time-out on trade deals.
The former president, though, said the real problem is the provisions of the trade deals aren't being enforced, and that U.S. trading partners are financing this country's debt, making it even more difficult. "When's the last time you slugged your banker," he asked an audience at a fairgrounds building in DeWitt. "You think you could get a loan?"
And according to the Business Journal of Phoenix, "Pro-business stance on immigration, trade could hurt McCain in Iowa:"
McCain also is a consistent backer of free trade policies, including NAFTA and other accords that have resulted in some job losses in Midwestern states.
The Arizona senator's views on trade and immigration mirror those of national and state business advocates, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
The Edwards Campaign called for 'smart, safe' trade according to The Gazette:
It won't be easy to reform trade policy, Edwards said, but it is part of what he called the "moral test of our generation" to do what previous generations have done: provide a better life for their children than they themselves had.
And from the congressional races:
According to the Valley Free Press on the Democratic primary race to eventually compete for Congressman Hastert's seat in Illionois:
Most of the candidates indicated there should be changes in fair trade agreements, emphasizing quality of life needs for workers and attention to environmental problems. However, Laesch said he does not support NAFTA or CAFTA, which he said have cost Americans thousands of jobs.
And from the special election in Ohio's 11th District to fill the seat vacated by Paul Gillmor, Robin Weirauch, the Democratic candidate said this on her campaign blog,
Yesterday, American Standard announced it is moving production from Tiffin overseas – putting the jobs of 165 of our neighbors in jeopardy. This is another blow to Northwest Ohioans –Washington trade agreements like NAFTA cost us jobs and encourage a wave of illegal immigrants.
...While Washington politicians are focused on divisive partisan rhetoric, more jobs are lost in Northwest Ohio. If you send me to Congress, I will fight against trade agreements that sell out hard working Ohioans...
And from a post last week:
The American people have been sold a lethal bill of goods. Our manufacturing jobs have been shipped off to places like China and Indiana, and what do we get in return? Shoddy, unsafe toys that pose life-threatening consequences for our children. In fact, 80 percent of the toys bought in the United States are imported from China, and the vast majority of these toys never being inspected.
I know one thing for sure, when these products were made in America, we didn't have to worry about toxic toys. When our toys were made right here in Ohio, our kids were safe.
(Disclosure: Global Trade Watch has no preference among the candidates.)