- Reason Awakes -

Trade

 

We support implementing the already negotiated free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. We also support aggressively pursuing other mutually beneficial free trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

 

We also support giving Trade Promotion Authority to the President that allows him to negotiate free trade agreements and then submit them to Congress for a simple up or down vote.


In the last twenty years the growth of international trade has been responsible for removing more people from poverty worldwide than all of the foreign aid, public and private, of the last 100 years. It also makes high quality, low priced goods available to American consumers. 

 

There are losers, principally organized labor and workers in industries that cannot compete with lower cost foreign goods. The solution is not to limit trade. Mutual free trade agreements with other nations are vital to the U.S. and the world’s economy. The solution is to make it easy for workers to re-educate, re-train, and re-locate to where the jobs are. We would support programs to facilitate this process that are shown to actually work and move workers to new jobs when old ones are lost. It may well be that the best programs are on-the-job training. If this is the case, the important thing may be to reduce legal, regulatory and tax disincentives which discourage the hiring of new employees, such as minimum wage and benefit requirements. Protectionist legislation is unwise and we will oppose any candidates that support “Buy American” campaigns.

 

Nevertheless, we believe that there is a role in making sure that free trade really is free. Currency manipulation, such as that practiced by China, is clearly a barrier to free trade and we support efforts to induce China to adopt floating exchange rates. Similarly, the protection of intellectual property rights should be a major consideration in trade negotiations.

 

 

 


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