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More headlines: George W. Bush on Free Trade

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)


Free & fair trade is key to economic future

We must continue to build on our parents’ legacy of freedom -- freedom for individuals, freedom for nations, freedom for markets and free and fair trade. And we know the key to future economic growth and prosperity at home is the free flow of goods and services and ideas.
Source: Powell Lecture Series, Texas A&M Univ. Apr 6, 1998

China in WTO supports freedom, security and economics

The issue is whether to extend normal trade relations to China on a permanent basis. This is not a Republican or Democratic concern. It is an American concern. There are three compelling reasons to support this agreement - freedom, security and economics
Source: Press release for speech at Boeing in Washington State May 18, 2000

Agrees with Clinton-Gore: PNTR for China

I have defined some sharp disagreements with the Clinton-Gore administration. But today I want to address an important area of agreement. The issue is whether to extend normal trade relations to China on a permanent basis. China is on the verge of joining the 136 members of the World Trade Organization. Congress must now decide whether the US will gain the benefits of China’s more open economy.

The stakes are high, on all sides. For businesses, workers and farmers across our country, it will mean much lower trade barriers and enormous opportunities for US exports. For the people of East Asia, it will affect their relations with the region’s major power. For the people of China, it holds out the hope of more open contact with the world of freedom.

In short, this will be among the most serious decisions our government will make this year. I am here to urge all members of Congress, both Republicans & Democrats, to join together in making China a normal trading partner of the United States

Source: Speech at Boeing plant, part of “Renewing America’s Purpose” May 17, 2000

China NTR promotes freedom, security and economics

    There are three compelling reasons to support this agreement [of permanent NTR for China] - freedom, security and economics.
  1. Trade with China will promote freedom. The case for trade is not just monetary, but moral - not just a matter of commerce, but a matter of conviction. Economic freedom creates habits of liberty. And habits of liberty create expectations of democracy.
  2. Trade with China serves our own national interest, as well as the security interests of China’s neighbors. China is not our “strategic partner.” But neither is it our enemy. When both China and Taiwan are members of the WTO, both will need to apply global rules to their trade, including trade with one another, and the prospects for cross-straits relations should improve.
  3. Trade with China serves the economic interests of America. China today is the world’s fourth largest market for our agricultural products. China must cut its average tariff from almost 25% to 9% by 2005.
Source: Speech at Boeing plant, part of “Renewing America’s Purpose” May 17, 2000

Free trade with China creates expectations for democracy

“NAFTA is good for Texas, it is good for Mexico, and it is important for our citizens to understand it is good for America,” Bush says. As a presidential candidate, he is taking his views further, favoring permanent normal trade relations with China and admitting China and Taiwan into the World Trade Organization. He calls China a “strategic competitor,” says its economic rise is inevitable and contends that by trading freely the United States can help create expectations for democracy in that country.
Source: Kelley Shannon, AP writer LA Times May 16, 2000

Supports congressional vote for China NTR & WTO

Three weeks before a closely watched vote in Congress on trade relations with China, Governor Bush is making sure to remind Capitol Hill Republicans of his support for the bill and has not ruled out his calling undecided House Republicans. Aides said Bush was planning to give a speech the week before the House vote, to explain anew why he feels so strongly about facilitating trade between the US and China. “I’ll speak out about it,” Bush said. Several House Republican aides said that Bush would probably not be asked to approach individual Republicans because House members already knew where the governor stood on the issue.

For months, Bush has declared his support for permanent normalized trade relations with China. He said American farms and businesses would benefit from freer access to China’s markets, even as the causes of human rights and democracy in China would be served by more exposure to American products and ideas.

Source: Frank Bruni, New York Times, p. A21 May 5, 2000

China in WTO is good for US farm exports

BAUER [to Bush]: I will stop allowing China to play us for suckers. We’ve given them Most Favored Nation status 10 years in a row. They dump their goods here. And Iowa farmers are selling less to China now than they did 10 years ago. The time of them playing us for suckers will end in my presidency.

BUSH: I’m glad you brought it up. You’re not for China getting into the WTO. I am. And let me tell you something-the amount of corn that’ll be moved if China gets in the WTO will rise from 250,000 metric tons, to 7.2 million metric tons. Opening up Chinese markets is good for our farmers.

BAUER: Governor Bush, here’s your fallacy: You believe the Chinese government will keep their agreements. They haven’t kept their agreements for 20 years.

BUSH: That’s why we let them in the WTO. That’s part of agreement keeping.

BAUER: That just gives them another agreement to break, Governor.

Source: (cross-ref. from Bauer) Des Moines Iowa GOP Debate Dec 13, 1999

Work with China, but as a competitor, not a partner

BAUER [to Bush]: Ronald Reagan never gave the Soviet Union most favored nation status. He always insisted on progress on human rights & national security. Our new challenge is China. They persecute their people, arrest those who practice their religion, forcible abortions, etc. Yet you’ve embraced the policy of Clinton and Gore, you want to give them MFN status & membership in the WTO. Why not follow a Reagan policy instead of a Clintonian policy?

BUSH: [I don’t] follow the policies of Clinton-Gore. They believe in what’s called a strategic partnership. I believe in redefining the relationship to one of competitor. But competitors can find common ground. It’s in our best interests to sell to the Chinese, and to make sure that the entrepreneurial class in China flourishes. If we make China make an enemy, they’ll end up being an enemy. If we trade with China, and trade with the entrepreneurial class, and give people a taste of freedom, I think you’ll be amazed at how soon democracy will come.

Source: (cross-ref. from Bauer) Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

WTO for both China & Taiwan; maintain Taiwan relations law

It’s in our nation’s best interests to open up Chinese markets to farm products, to high-tech manufactured goods. So therefore I believe China ought to be in the World Trade Organization. I also believe that Taiwan ought to be in the World Trade Organization. But let me make this clear to you and to the Chinese. I will enforce the Taiwan relations law if I’m the president, if the Chinese get aggressive with the Taiwanese we’ll help them defend themselves.
Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999

Admit China to WTO

I think it is to the advantage of U.S. producers and to the country to have admitted China to the World Trade Organization.
Source: New York Times, 4/19/99 Apr 19, 1999

Against WTO on foreign sales corp (for offshore tax breaks)

Bush was asked if he supported a recent ruling by the WTO to eliminate foreign sales corporations, the off-shore subsidiaries that many US companies set up to channel overseas sales through places like the Virgin Islands. The US does not tax sales made by these subsidiaries nor does it impose duties when they transfer profits to their parent companies. This provision avoided about $4 billion in federal taxes last year.

Bush has supported foreign sales corporations. His spokesman said, “The governor views the WTO ruling as harmful to American companies that export.“

The Clinton administration has strongly supported foreign sales corporations, arguing that the provision is necessary to level the playing field with the European tax system. But European analysts argued that the offshore tax havens violate WTO rules that prohibit nations from subsidizing exports to make them more competitive.

Source: New York Times, p. A10 Feb 28, 2000

NAFTA is good for Texas and good for Mexico

Bush has been a relentless supporter of NAFTA. Even as the needle-trade industry all but disappeared in Texas, with a final wave of Levis plant closings in January and February marking the fifth anniversary of the signing of the trade agreement, the governor had neither a program nor a word of consolation for displaced workers. ‘NAFTA is good for Texas and good for Mexico,’ Bush said in his January State of the State speech.
Source: The Nation, 5/26/99 May 26, 1999

Support NAFTA by improving Mexican border

I will continue to be a strong advocate for free and fair trade with Mexico. NAFTA is good for Texas and good for Mexico. I will work with the federal government and the Texas Department of Transportation to improve infrastructure along our border.
Source: 1999 State of the State Address, Austin TX Jan 27, 1999

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Other candidates on Free Trade: George W. Bush on other issues:
Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)

Former Contenders:
V.P.Al Gore
Pat Buchanan
V.P.Dick Cheney
Sen.Bob Dole
Ralph Nader
Gov.Sarah Palin

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
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Secy.Robert Reich
Donald Trump
Gov.Jesse Ventura
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Page last updated: Mar 16, 2014