Tim Kaine on Free Trade
Democratic Senate Challenger; previously Governor
When fairer trade conditions are restored, and US producers are on a level playing field, we can out-compete anyone. China shouldn't be allowed to play by its own rules.
That support is in the form of loan guarantees and insurance so they could finance about $1 billion a year in exports from the state. Mind you, that's not money the bank shells out. It's just Ex-Im saying it will guarantee payment if the exporter or its bank get stiffed. Less than 0.3% of the sums Ex-Im Bank guarantees and insures is ever actually paid out. Ex-Im Bank funds its operations from the fees it charges customers, and has in fact raised $2 billion more than it has paid out.
And it's not just about new business opportunities or foreign investment in our communities. Many long-time Virginia businesses, especially in the agricultural sector that still represents the largest part of our economy, are dependent on immigrant workers. We should not punish law-abiding businesses or hinder their ability to grow and create jobs.
In the past year, we have made exciting job announcements in virtually every community in the Commonwealth. We've announced over $1 billion in investment and 5000 new jobs with good wages and benefits throughout Virginia--jobs created and filled using tools like the Governor's Opportunity Fund, Enterprise Zone Grants, workforce investments, and tobacco settlement funds.
We can bring more good jobs into Virginia and bolster our reputation for innovation. Together, we can bring a global research leader, SRI International, to the Shenandoah Valley. The partnership between SRI and James Madison University, initially focusing on cutting-edge pharmaceutical research, will create great jobs and complement our growing expertise in biomedical research.
Congressional Summary:Sugar Reform Act:
Proponent's argument for bill:(Senators' opinions reported on politico.com) "We subsidize a handful of wealthy sugar growers at the expense of everybody in America," said Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.), whose home state boasts the chocolate giant, Hershey's. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), warned her colleagues against unraveling the commodity coalition behind the farm bill: "We forget that this is much bigger than a sugar program. It's much bigger than any one single commodity. When you single out one commodity, you threaten the effectiveness of the overall farm bill."
Opponent's argument against bill:(Food and Business News, May 2013): Users claim the sugar program nearly doubles the price of sugar to US consumers and has resulted in lost jobs as some candy manufacturers have moved operations to other countries. Producers claim the program has resulted in more stable sugar supplies, provides a safety net for growers and that world prices are often lower because of subsidies in origin countries, which would put US growers at a disadvantage should import restrictions be lifted. Producers also note that US sugar prices have declined more than 50% from late 2011 highs. They also maintain that jobs have been lost or moved out of the US for reasons other than sugar prices, mainly labor and health care costs, noting that candy makers' profits have been strong in recent years.
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