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Mike Huckabee on Free Trade

Former Republican AR Governor; possible draft candidate


Free AND fair trade: globalize, but help those whom it harms

I support free trade, but it has to be fair trade. We are losing jobs because of an unlevel, unfair trading arena that must be fixed.

When jobs are lost & businesses fail, people sigh & shake their heads and angrily mutter, "Globalization." But the truth is that globalization is just one of the many reasons why individuals lose their jobs and why companies close their doors. Globalization also creates jobs, and often the benefits of globalization for outweigh the costs.

Protectionism isn't the answer; it will only make us less prosperous. If we change our policies, we won't reverse the fall of "natural barriers" around the world, such as the flow of information technology & services.

It isn't smart to give up this benefit to our society as a whole because of the adverse impact on the few. At the same time, it isn't right not to provide help to those who are harmed. We have to adopt policies that are both smart and right. We can never forget that real people are affected by these policies.

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p.127-129 , Nov 18, 2008

Diplomacy hasn't worked; impose sanctions on China

The federal government won't take the necessary steps when China refuses to play by the rules of fair trade. For the past six years, we've relied on diplomacy, when we should have imposed sanctions and brought legal actions against them. It's only very recently that our government has at last begun minimal action. We need less talk and more of that action.

One of the most egregious violations China engages in, as do India and other Asian countries, is currency manipulation. They buy up dollars on the currency markets to keep the value of their money low, which makes their products artificially inexpensive here. We have a right to slap countervailing duties on these goods, but we haven't done so. We've not imposed countervailing duties for any reason for almost a quarter century on China. This year we've finally begun anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations against China.

It's a beginning. We have lots of weapons already against those who blithely break the trade rules we honor.

Source: Do The Right Thing, by Mike Huckabee, p.133-134 , Nov 18, 2008

Supports NAFTA & CAFTA, if partners “hafta” abide by rules

Q: If you were president, you wouldn’t go forward with another version of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, or any of these other free-trade agreements that are in the works right now?

A: No, I think the free-trade agreements are wonderful to have, and I supported NAFTA and CAFTA. But I always say, then you “hafta” make sure that these free trade agreements are being abided by both parties, and that’s not what’s happened.

Source: FOX News Sunday tag , Jan 13, 2008

Fair trade includes lead-free products & playing by rules

Q: What would you do to deal with this economic crisis?

A: The main thing we have to do is to make sure that our free trade agreements involve fair trade. And that’s something that we’ve got to do a better job of enforcing, is to make sure that those products which are coming into the US are free of lead, that they’re safe, that they’re manufactured in the same kind of standards that we expect our American companies to use when they built things. And that hasn’t happened. And one of the reasons we’re losing a lot of jobs is that we’ve been in such a rush to make sure that we exemplify the boundaries of free trade, that we forgot that we’re all supposed to play by the same rules. If somebody cheats, you’re not playing the game fairly. When the Chinese send toys that have lead, they have dog food that causes our pets to die, when we have food that comes to us contaminated, when things that are created by people who have worked in sweatshops--how does an American worker expect to compete?

Source: FOX News Sunday tag , Jan 13, 2008

A free country must feed, fuel, & fight for itself

Q: Does our country’s financial situation creates a security risk?

A: It’s most certainly a national security threat because a country can only be free if it can do three things.

  1. It has to be able to feed itself. It has to be able to put food on the table for its own citizens.
  2. It’s got to be able to fuel itself. If it looks to somebody else for its energy needs, it’s only as free as those are willing for it to be.
  3. And it also has to be able to fight for itself. It’s got to be able to manufacture its own weapons of defense--tanks, airplanes, bullets and bombs.
When we start outsourcing everything and we are in that kind of a trade deficit, then just remember, who feeds us, who fuels us and who helps us to fight, that’s to whom we are enslaved. So if we can’t do those three things, our national security is very much at risk.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican debate , Dec 12, 2007

We need fair trade because we’re losing jobs

The fact is, we don’t have fair trade. And that’s the issue we’ve 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 don’t have the same border adjustability that we do.

And that’s why we’re losing jobs here, and that’s what has to change. This party is going to have to start addressing it, or we’re going to get our britches beat next year.

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

This country can never yield its sovereignty for any reason

Q: Will you abolish all plans to promote economic integration of the North American Union?

A: I believe with all my heart is that this country can never, ever, ever yield its sovereignty to any other country for any reason, under any circumstance, ever That’s why I would agree that we not only need closed and secure borders, but more importantly, we need a re-understanding that we are a sovereign nation, and we do not yield ourselves over.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Trade sanctions on Saudi Arabia for persecuting Christians

Q: Today, Christians are being beaten, jailed, and expelled throughout the Muslim world. In Saudi Arabia, no church buildings are permitted, yet Saudi extremist Wahhabis have built hundreds of mosques in the US with funding from Saudi Arabia. If elected, will you take action to protest these gross injustices and persecution by denying visas or imposing trade sanctions?
Source: [Xref Hunter] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

China trade contingent on human rights & product safety

Q: Sarah Lu was forced to work in labor camps for six years, for the crime of being a Christian house church leader. Thousands of prisoners of conscience are forced to manufacture items that stock our American shelves. Would you make future trade with China contingent on them measurably improving their record on religious freedom & human rights?
Source: [Xref Paul] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

No NAFTA Superhighway from Canada to Mexico

Q: As president, do you support the NAFTA “Superhighway” presently under construction from Mexico to Canada, portions of which shall be under foreign control?
Source: [Xref Hunter] 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate , Sep 17, 2007

Marketplace pushes innovation to top & prices to bottom

I believe in free trade and allowing the marketplace to push innovative ideas to the top & prices to the bottom. Perhaps the most compelling challenge is ensuring that a free trade correspondingly represents a fair trade.

Three dominant factors in the American economy make it increasingly difficult for jobs to remain here: excess LITIGATION, excess TAXATION, and excess REGULATION combine to ultimately result in the MIGRATION of American jobs to marketplaces beyond our borders.

Source: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, p.161 , Jan 4, 2007

Farm subsidies ok because Europe & Asia do same

It has been policy to pay farmers a stipend for their crops to ensure the farmers will receive a guaranteed minimum price. Some conservatives believe that all agricultural subsidies should be discontinued and allow the market to function. In an ideal world, this would be good practice, but American farmers are competing with subsidized farmers in Europe and Asia, and the fixed costs faced by farmers involving land, equipment, seed, and supplies means that even if they do not sell a single stalk of corn, they will have significant expenses.

Keeping American farmers in business is also good for the consumer. The theory behind subsidies is that production is maintained at a higher level, driving food costs lower. This empowers consumers and generates stability in the farming economy so that America remains a producing rather than consuming nation.

Subsidies also help insulate farmers from natural disasters and spikes in the cost of fuel, feed, and fertilizer.

Source: From Hope to Higher Ground, by Mike Huckabee, p.172-173 , Jan 4, 2007

Enforce trade law against subsidized Canadian lumber imports.

Huckabee signed the Southern Governors' Association resolution:

Source: Resolution of Southern Governor's Assn. on Lumber Subsidies 01-SGA3 on Sep 9, 2001

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Free Trade.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Mike Huckabee.
  • Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by Mike Huckabee.
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Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014