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Gary Johnson on Free Trade

Libertarian presidential nominee; former Republican NM Governor

 


Free trade means more jobs and lower prices

Donald Trump: NAFTA, signed by [Hillary Clinton's] husband, is perhaps the greatest disaster trade deal in the history of the world. It stripped us of manufacturing jobs.

Gary Johnson: Free trade means on net more jobs and lower prices for American families.

Source: Johnson Twitter posts on Second 2016 Presidential Debate , Oct 9, 2016

Free trade, not isolationism; low spending, not taxes

TRUMP: Our jobs are fleeing the country. They're going to Mexico. They're going to many other countries. You look at what China is doing to our country in terms of making our product. They're devaluing their currency, and there's nobody in our government to fight them. And we have a very good fight. And we have a winning fight. Because they're using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild China, and many other countries are doing the same thing.

GARY JOHNSON: Free trade, not isolationism, is what will lead to more U.S. jobs.

CLINTON: Well, I think that trade is an important issue. Of course, we are 5 percent of the world's population; we have to trade with the other 95 percent. And we need to have smart, fair trade deals. We also, though, need to have a tax system that rewards work and not just financial transactions.

GARY JOHNSON: All the tax increases in the world are not going to balance the budget. Spending MUST be addressed

Source: Twitter posting on First 2016 presidential debate , Sep 27, 2016

I'm a real skeptic on trade agreements, but I would sign TPP

Q: What's your view on the TPP? Here's what Donald Trump said:

TRUMP: Ask Hillary if she is willing to withdraw from the TPP her first day in office and unconditionally rule out its passage in any form.

JOHNSON: I am a real skeptic when it comes to these trade agreements that, in fact, these trade agreements can be laden with crony capitalism. But based on people that have been advising me that I hold in very high esteem, I am being told that the Trans-Pacific Partnership would, in fact, advance free trade, and so I would support that document. The devil is in the details, though, and for the most part legislation that passes really promotes crony capitalism, promotes those that have money as opposed to a level playing field for everybody. So I am a skeptic, but based on what I know, I would sign TPP.

Source: CNN 2016 State of the Union Q&A with presidential hopefuls , Jul 3, 2016

Free trade unfairly criticized for being crony capitalism

Q: Both of the major party candidates have embraced a protectionist anti-free-trade policy. Does free trade benefit America?

JOHNSON: Well, free trade does benefit. I think that, unfairly, free trade has come under criticism for being crony capitalism. Look, we're anti-crony capitalism. So much of legislation that gets passed, so much of what goes on under the guise of free trade really is crony capitalism. The fact that favoritism is for sale when it comes to government, and Congress sells it. Government can level the playing field for everyone. I saw that as governor of New Mexico. I had the best record of jobs in the 2012 presidential race. I was responsible for leveling that playing field, something that we both understand and can accomplish, and that level playing field really is free trade.

Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Hypocritical for US to attack China as currency manipulator

Q: If you declare them a currency manipulator on day one, some people are--say you're just going to start a trade war with China on day one. Is that--isn't there a risk that that could happen?

Gary Johnson: It would be highly hypocritical for the U.S. to attack China for being a currency manipulator, considering how much the Federal Reserve and Treasury have intervened in credit markets. That issue aside, however, it would be far more prudent to focus on trading with China rather than worrying about how much they may be manipulating their currency. Truly free trade, even if only on our end, would greatly benefit American consumers and workers, and would make our relationship with China more productive and peaceful. Perhaps it would even set a good example that protecting the economic freedom of one's citizens is better for the country than restricting them.

Source: Democracy Now! Expanded Third Obama-Romney 2012 debate , Oct 22, 2012

No tariffs, no restrictions; but no corporatism

On trade, Johnson "generally supports NAFTA and other free-trade agreements," In a June 9 segment on John Stossel's program on Fox Business, Johnson "debated" Obama impersonator Reggie Brown and said he wanted "no tariffs, no restrictions" on trade. He did sound a little squishy on trade in a March 2011 interview when he said that "So much of the legislation that we pass isn't really free market at all. It's touted as free market, when the reality ends up to be very corporate. The reality ends up to be corporatism. I was always looking at business legislation from the standpoint of having it affect everyone equally as opposed to big business being further advantaged. So many of these treaties--NAFTA being one--the criticism of NAFTA should be rooted in the fact that big business became even bigger business."
Source: Club for Growth 2012 Presidential White Paper #9: Johnson , Jul 21, 2011

Eliminate needless barriers to free trade

Source: Presidential campaign website, garyjohnson2012.com, "Issues" , May 2, 2011

NAFTA benefits New Mexico; jobs lost are those we don't want

Q: What is behind your support of NAFTA?

A: NAFTA has benefited New Mexico. With each passing day, it's a bigger boom for New Mexico as a border state.

Q: Do you disagree that NAFTA has caused the "sucking sound" Ross Perot warned of--the sound of US jobs being sucked into Mexico?

A: My opinion is that the jobs we're talking about are those we generally don't want. What jobs are we saving?

Q: Manufacturing jobs.

A: There is shifting, and some companies have relocated to Mexico. But we've benefited far more than we have lost. Also, it's still settling. Intel has a new semiconductor manufacturing plant in Albuquerque, one of the most sophisticated plants on the planet. It is in the US because the workers are qualified and efficient here. If we're not competitive, we had better get competitive. We're moving toward a global economy whether we like it or not.

Source: David Sheff interview in Playboy Magazine , Jan 1, 2001

NAFTA benefits New Mexico; jobs lost are those we don't want

Q: What is behind your support of NAFTA?

A: NAFTA has benefited New Mexico. With each passing day, it's a bigger boom for New Mexico as a border state.

Q: Do you disagree that NAFTA has caused the "sucking sound" Ross Perot warned of--the sound of US jobs being sucked into Mexico?

A: My opinion is that the jobs we're talking about are those we generally don't want. What jobs are we saving? Manufacturing jobs? There is shifting, and some companies have relocated to Mexico. But we've benefited far more than we have lost. Also, it's still settling. Intel has a new semiconductor manufacturing plant in Albuquerque, one of the most sophisticated plants on the planet. It is in the US because the workers are qualified and efficient here. If we're not competitive, we had better get competitive. We're moving toward a global economy whether we like it or not.

Source: David Sheff interview in Playboy Magazine , Jan 1, 2001

Other candidates on Free Trade: Gary Johnson on other issues:
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Donald Trump(R-NY)
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Dr.Jill Stein(G-MA)
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Page last updated: Oct 29, 2016