State of Michigan Archives: on Free Trade

Jack Bergman: I support free and fair trade, not TPP

Trans-Pacific Partnership: I support free and fair trade because Michigan makes some of the best products in the world. When markets open and we compete on an even playing field, we export more of our goods. This increases wages and increases our standard of living. The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, known commonly as TPP, however, does not fall under the category of free or fair trade. Instead, it undercuts our workers at home and weakens our national sovereignty in dealings abroad. It should be opposed as is.

Every trade bill should be evaluated based on how it benefits American workers. Every member of Congress takes an oath to protect and guard the nation from forces that threaten it--both militarily and economically. Every proposed trade agreement should ensure that Americans are competing on a level playing field. I know American businesses and labor will outwork any foreign competition and build a better product.

Source: 2016 Michigan House campaign website Nov 8, 2016

Donald Trump: I've been moving clothing-making from China to U.S.

Sen. Marco RUBIO: Trump can start tonight by announcing that all the Donald Trump clothing will no longer be made in China and in Mexico, but will be made here in the United States.

Q: Will you promise that you will move your clothing collection to the US, the clothes that are made in China and Mexico?

TRUMP: I will do that. And by the way, I have been doing it more and more. But they devalue their currencies, in particular China. Mexico is doing a big number now, also. Japan is unbelievable what they're doing. They devalue their currencies, and they make it impossible for clothing-makers in this country to do clothing in this country. The Trans-Pacific Partnership--which Marco is in favor of---they don't take into concurrence the devaluation. They're devaluing their currency.

RUBIO: The answer is, he's not going to do it. And you know why? The reason why he makes it in China or Mexico is because he can make more money on it.

Source: 2016 Fox News GOP debate in Detroit Michigan Mar 3, 2016

Terri Lynn Land: Free trade agreements only with reciprocal market access

Trade policies from Washington all too often dramatically harm our state's economy and cost Michigan good-paying middle class jobs. I will only support trade agreements that put Michigan businesses and workers on a level playing field with other countries.
Source: 2014 Michigan Senate campaign website, Aug 29, 2014

Rick Snyder: Took 24 attempts to get New International Trade Crossing

Huge infrastructure projects are only beginning. The first one, it's a bridge. We are moving forward with the New International Trade Crossing. We are awaiting on a Presidential permit, but it's a great opportunity. There are no taxpayer dollars involved. A huge accomplishment of something that had been 40 years in the making, this was attempt 24, and success happened. It is known as the Regional Transit Authority for Southeastern Michigan and it was a great effort of people working together
Source: 2013 State of the State Speech to Michigan Legislature Jan 16, 2013

Rick Snyder: Open new doors to global markets

Michigan is a clear winner with the free-trade agreements approved by Congress. As one of North America's top producer states, Michigan will benefit greatly by opening new doors to global markets.

This is our chance to show the world what we already know: Michigan's farmers and workers are the best in the world. As more foreign consumers see what Michigan has to offer, demand for our products will continue to climb.

Source: Michigan 2011 gubernatorial press release, #264012 Oct 13, 2011

Rick Snyder: Increase Canada trade with new Detroit River bridge

To achieve success in today's world, it requires that we look beyond our borders. We must open ourselves to the promises and potential of the global marketplace. We must increase exports from Michigan farmers, manufacturers and entrepreneurs. Last year, Canada was the top market for our products. In 2009, Michigan did roughly $4 billion in trade with Canada. We also know that one out of every eight jobs in Detroit is in the export industry. [We] widened approaches to the international bridge and major improvements to ease the traffic flow in Port Huron. Global demand for our ports of entry is expected to increase steadily with no signs of slowing. To satisfy growing demand, we must move forward towards building a new bridge from Detroit to Windsor, The Detroit River International River Crossing.
Source: 2011 Michigan State of the State Address Jan 19, 2011

Rick Wade: NEI: government-wide export-promotion strategy

The Commerce Department exists to make American businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad. And Commerce provides direct services to businesses to protect their intellectual property, make their processes more efficient, and help them export around the world.

And the export part of our portfolio has become even more important of late with the announcement of President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double American exports over the next five years and support two million jobs here at home.

The NEI represents the first time the US will have a government-wide export-promotion strategy with. The NEI will be primarily focused on:

Source: Remarks at US Regional Business Tour, Battle Creek, Michigan Apr 6, 2010

Jack Hoogendyk: Mirror trade policy of other nations

Source: 2008 Senate campaign website,, ďIssuesĒ May 2, 2008

Duncan Hunter: Reflect tariffs back at competitors

To all my colleagues who talk about the joy of free trade, that requires one thing: good business deals. Weíve made the only business deal in the world with 132 other competitors where they get to have a rebate on their taxes and then put a block up of 15% to 20% tariff against our goods, and we donít get to do the same thing. Thatís why we have a trade deficit with countries that have higher labor rates than the United States.

So weíre short on good businessmen, and I would junk those bad trade deals, bring them back to the table, and Iíd practice mirror trade. If a country wants to put a 15 percent tariff against the United States, theyíre going to see that reflected back at them. If they want to take it down to 1 percent, weíll take it down to one, but thereís not going to be a one-way street any longer.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Fred Thompson: Focus on protecting infrastructure for national security

Q: Should we allow a Dubai company to buy 20% of NASDAQ?

A: : The answer is yes. Dubai would own 20% of NASDAQ, but NASDAQ, under this deal, as I understand it, would gain more than 30% of the Dubai company. It all depends on national security issues. Doesnít seem to be one there. But we should look at all these deals carefully because we have a vast infrastructure. The great portion of it is in private hands. Thereís no way, frankly, we can protect it all. So we need to do everything that we can to make sure that weíre doing all that we can to protect the infrastructure weíve got and scrutinize these deals, number one, first and foremost, from a national security standpoint.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

John McCain: Every time US went protectionist, we paid heavy price

Iím a student of history. Every time the United States has become protectionist and listened to the siren song that youíre hearing partially on this stage tonight, weíve paid a very heavy price. The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Acts in the 1930s were direct contributors to World War II. It sounds like a lot of fun to bash China and others, but free trade has been the engine of our economy. Free trade should be the continuing principle that guides this nationís economy.
Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

John McCain: Supports ethanol, but by exporting, not by subsidies

I have a glass of ethanol every morning before breakfast. (Audience laughter.) But I still donít support the subsidies, and I donít think we need them. And I think we ought to have sugarcane-based ethanol into this country, and I donít think that subsidies are the answer, because Iíll open up every foreign market to our agricultural products, who are the most productive & best & most effective agriculture in the world. All this bashing of free trade--Ronald Reagan must be spinning in his grave.
Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Mike Huckabee: We need fair trade because weíre losing jobs

The fact is, we donít have fair trade. And thatís the issue weíve got to address. Our real problem continues to be that an American company is having to pay an extraordinarily high tax on everything they produce, but the countries who are exporting to us donít have the same border adjustability that we do.

And thatís why weíre losing jobs here, and thatís what has to change. This party is going to have to start addressing it, or weíre going to get our britches beat next year.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Mitt Romney: Open up markets to American goods and services

Q: Are you a Bush Republican on trade?

A: Well, I believe in trade, but I believe in opening up markets to American goods and services. And itís been calculated that the average family in America is $9,000 a year richer because we have the ability to sell products around the world, and a lot of people in this country make their living making products that go around the world. I want to make sure that the American worker gets a fair shake. We need to make sure that the Chinese begin to float their currency, and they protect our designs and our patents and our technology. We need to make sure that the American workers donít have to carry the burden of extra taxes as we sell our products around the world. They come here without that tax embedded. We can do a better job, and I want to do a better job for the American worker.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Mitt Romney: Businesspeople should negotiate trade, not politicians

The people who negotiate these agreements, the people who sit down with the Chinese and sit down with the Mexicans and others, are people, by and large, whoíve spent their life in politics, and the politicians come together and try and understand how the economy works.

I think Iím probably the only guy on the stage whoís spent most of his career in the business world. I understand how the economy works. I understand how if you make a certain adjustment in the agreement, itís going to have a huge impact on the United States.

And so for instance, if we agree to sit down with China, I understand that if we donít get real careful and protect patents and designs and technology, intellectual property is going to get stolen by the Chinese. I recognize weíre going to have to have people who understand how the business world works, how the economy works, and make sure that the playing field really is level by having people that understand the economy and the business world being part of that effort.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Good deals pending with Peru, Colombia, Panama, South Korea

Q: Has this country become protectionist, or are there serious, real national security concerns?

A: I think weíre on a verge of going in one direction or another. I mean, for example, if you want to get specific, the four trade deals with Peru, Colombia, Panama, South Korea that are in front of Congress right now, which the Democrats are trying to block, would be good deals for the US. In 3 of the 4 of them, we would actually get to export more than weíre importing. Why they would want to block this I canít understand. Weíre already importing about 98% from those countries. [Regarding protectionism], I think you got to almost separate them into two different categories. Thereís economic protection, and then thereís protection for safety, security and legal rights. And I donít think weíve done a particularly good job on the second. We canít say because these agreements werenít perfect, because they have problems, because they have issues, weíre going to turn our back on free trade.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Rudy Giuliani: Balance foreign debt by selling more things overseas

Q: Hillary Clinton says that one of our biggest economic threats right now is how much of our federal debt is owned overseas by foreigners. Do you agree?

A: Actually, the way to balance that is to sell more things overseas. Thatís the usual Democratic pessimistic approach. How about we try an optimistic approach? The way to balance the books is sell more overseas. Sell energy independence. Sell health care. Letís do it in a positive way.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Tom Tancredo: Enforce trade & currency rules against China

There is one place where the federal government has a role in manufacturing, and thatís ensuring that everybodyís playing by the rules. Now, when Communist China devalues their currency by 40%, they undercut American products around the world. They undercut them so low that we canít even pay for the cost of materials and meet their prices. Now, that has put 1.8 million working Americans out of work, and that job, the job of enforcing those rules, is the presidentís job. Thatís what I intend to do.
Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Tom Tancredo: CAFTA should be about trade; get rid of immigration parts

CAFTA was a bill over a thousand pages long to do what, to reduce tariffs between the six Central American countries and the United States? That was about a paragraph, right? But itís over a thousand pages. Weíve included all kinds of things in there that had nothing to do with trade.

In particular, of course, Iím talking about the immigration-related issues. I offered an amendment on the floor of the House during the debate on CAFTA, the Central America Free Trade Agreement, to say that there will be no immigration issues contained inside of a trade package. It was defeated.

We are talking about trade issues that actually begin to impact our national sovereignty. Thereís the problem. We are reducing the importance of borders and increasing the threat to national sovereignty with the kind of trade programs that we put through up to this point in time.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

Debbie Stabenow: End trade agreements to keep jobs here

Q: Has NAFTA lost us jobs? Should trade agreements end and enter into new ones?

STABENOW: Yes. I supported tax cuts for businesses here to keep jobs here. We need to create a race to the top.

BOUCHARD: Sheís voted for MFN status for China - but complains about China and Bush.

Source: 2006 Michigan Senate Debate in Grand Rapids Oct 15, 2006

Mike Bouchard: Trade agreements should be fair and enforceable

We need to negotiate trade agreements that are both fair and enforceable. While trade agreements that help open foreign markets to US goods are highly beneficial to the US economy, we havenít always done all we can to ensure that our trade agreements are fully verifiable and enforceable. I fully support trade where each party meets the obligations it freely undertook when it entered the agreement and can enjoy the benefits anticipated when the deal was agreed upon. This requires that our trade agreements contain provisions to ensure that foreign markets are truly as open to US goods as they claim they will be.

The best trade deal in the world doesnít benefit us if our partners donít keep their side of the agreement. We need to remain vigilant to ensure those trade agreements already in force are being monitored carefully and enforced vigorously.

Source: Campaign booklet, ďRenewing Michiganís EconomyĒ Sep 14, 2006

Mike Bouchard: Associates CAFTA with currency manipulation

CAFTA - Zandstra supports it, and spend much time defending it. Butler supports Free/fair trade and opposed CAFTA. Bouchard hinted being against CAFTA and mentioned currency manipulation. Zandstraís defense of CAFTA stated that it increases exports(including cars) by reducing tariffs on American manufactured goods.
Source: commentary on GOP debate Dec 7, 2005

Gary Bauer: Entrepreneurial China trade same as with totalitarian Cuba

BUSH [to Bauer]: Capital that goes into Cuba will be used by the Castro government to prop itself up. Dollars invested will end up supporting this totalitarian regime.. Itís in our best interest to keep the pressure on Castro until he allows free elections, free press & free the prisoners.

BAUER: You just made the case for withdrawing MFN status from China. Everything that you just said about Cuba applies to China.

BUSH: There is a huge difference between trading with an entrepreneurial class like that which is growing in China and allowing a Castro government to skim capital monies off the top of capital investment.

BAUER: Tell the people rotting in the prisons of China that thereís any difference between Castroís Cuba & Communist China. There is none.

BUSH: If we turn our back on the entrepreneurial class that is taking wing in China, weíre making a huge mistake.

BAUER: They are using that money for a massive arms buildup that our sons will have to deal with down the road.

Source: (cross-ref from Bush) GOP Debate in Michigan Jan 10, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Michigan Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Free Trade.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Free Trade:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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