State of Nevada Archives: on Free Trade


John Edwards: Hold China responsible for their trade obligations

Q: Was your vote to normalize trade relations with China a mistake?

A: What is a mistake is allowing China to operate unfettered, to send dangerous products into this country, to not have the president of the US hold them responsible for their trading obligations to the WTO, which has not been done. It was right to bring them into the WTO. Itís wrong to not hold them responsible for their obligations.

Source: 2007 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada Nov 15, 2007

Bill Richardson: We need fair trade, not just unabashed free trade

Q: Should further rounds of the World Trade Organization agreements incorporate internationally recognized workers rights?

A: What I believe we need in this country is fair trade, not just unabashed free trade. What I would do is, first of all, any future international trade agreement should have the following components as part of the law, not as a side agreement.

  1. Worker protections, because this is critically important comparing work standards in America and in other countries.
  2. We should have environmental protections. One of the unfortunate sides of NAFTA, which I supported, was that it was supposed to improve air quality. It hasnít happened. So there has to be very, very strong labor protections and environmental protections.
  3. Last, wage disparities. I think itís critically important that any future trade agreement look what other countries have in terms of wages and find ways to promote equity in those wage disparities. But we are in a global world.
Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

Dennis Kucinich: NAFTA and GATT intentionally limit workers rights

One of the things thatís led to a destructive undermining of workersí rights in this country is our trade agreements. If you go back to when NAFTA was passed, and GATT, and the creation of World Trade Organization, they were written specifically so there wouldnít be any provisions for workersí rights. No protection for the right to organize, the right to strike, the right to collective bargaining. Those were all excluded from trade agreements.

Now, why was that? Cheap labor. They also were looking to move it to places where if possible they could have prison labor, slave labor, child labor. They didnít want environmental restrictions. So what happened is NAFTA and GATT opened up the door for that. And it really undermined workers in this country, it undermined workers in other countries.

My first week in office, I will move to cancel NAFTA and our relationship with the WTO and go back to bilateral trade that will be conditioned on workersí rights, human rights, environmental quality principles.

Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

John Edwards: We need smart trade, not fair trade vs. free trade

We need a trade policy that works, a trade policy thatís fair to us and fair to the rest of the world. We have this great debate between fair trade and free trade; what we really need is smart trade. We need real standards in our trade agreements and our bilateral trade agreements, international labor standards, international environmental standards. They need to be standards that are achievable, but we need to have those standards.
Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

John Edwards: Globalization means more education needed for success

Q: The issue of globalization has shifted somewhat in recent years as many white collar jobs have been outsourced overseas.

A: We have to be smarter than weíve been about the effects of globalization. What globalization has done is created a stratification of class in America. Itís much more difficult for somebody like me, who came from a pretty modest background and now has absolutely everything, to be able to do that in the country today. There are a lot of reasons for it. Our tax structure is one reason; not having access to health care is another. But the impact of globalization has makes it much more difficult to be able to move up and for their children to have a better life.

We have to be smarter, better educated. Science, math, technology -- we need to push more kids into those areas. We need to make it easier for kids to go to college, not harder. We need more serious investment in graduate education in all those areas.

Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

  • The above quotations are from State of Nevada Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Free Trade.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2012 Presidential contenders on Free Trade:
  Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)

Republicans:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Parties:
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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Page last updated: Dec 16, 2013