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Ross Perot on Foreign Policy

1992 & 1996 Reform Party Nominee for President


Aiding Russia is the most cost-effective thing we can do

His commonsense approach to the debt ("like the crazy aunt tucked away in the room upstairs nobody talks about"), taxing the wealthy ("makes no sense for me to pay less of a percentage of my income that other people"), and aid to Russia to help them past their economic crisis ("the most cost-effective thing you can do"), rang true in a season of sour, false notes. He promised a coalition government, using the best minds of both parties. He said he would "get a shovel and clean out the barn."
Source: The Man Behind the Myth, by Ken Gross, p.202-203 , Sep 20, 2000

Great nations should commit more abroad

People and nations do not follow weak leaders. Sounding an uncertain trumpet on political and economic matters does not galvanize or inspire followers. The economic reasons can be boiled down to one phrase: failure to address our financial problems-particularly our budget deficit. To lead the world toward greater stability and away from the threats of war, the US must show both political and economic strength.
Source: The Dollar Crisis, p. 48-49 , Jul 2, 1996

Pay attention to developing nations

40% of our exports are sent to lesser-developed countries. For both economic and political reasons, we should be paying more attention to these nations. The political reason is that the great threat to the world is no longer nuclear annihilation but instability that can spill over from one nation to many nations. One way of encouraging stability is to meet the needs and hopes of people without violence. (The same is true within our own nation.) Trade is a way of helping to do that. Foreign aid is another. After being the world leader, the US now spends less as a percentage of its income on foreign economic assistance than any of he Western European nations or Japan. We spend less than 1% of our federal budget on foreign aid. Paying attention to the developing nations and their markets that will grow rapidly in the decades ahead is good for our economy and good for world stability.
Source: The Dollar Crisis, p.107-108 , Jul 2, 1996

NAFTA yields US sovereignty to international organizations

NAFTA is a very, very broad commitment on the part of the US. Not only will the US be bound to change its federal laws that conflict with NAFTA, but it will also make a commitment to see that any state laws that conflict with NAFTA are changed. Many existing laws and regulations at all levels of government will be superseded by NAFTA.

Equally important, NAFTA gives Mexico and Canada the right to challenge the legality of our federal, state, and local laws as illegal trade barriers. Any challenge will be considered in secret by a panel of international trade bureaucrats. There is no appeal process involving the US justice system. The third branch of US government, the judiciary, and the American right to due process have been negotiated away. If the US loses a decision before this board of international arbitrators, the US is obligated to change its laws or pay a penalty to the other nations. The impact of this provision on US sovereignty is neither trivial nor far-fetched.

Source: Save Your Job, Save Our Country, p. 77-8 , Jan 1, 1993

Less aid to allies; more aid to Russia

Source: Strong-Man Politics, by George Grant, p. 88 , Nov 7, 1992

Gulf War did not achieve its objectives

I suggest that in a free society owned by the people, the people ought to know what we told Ambassador Glaspie to tell Saddam Hussein, because we spent a lot of money and risked lives and lost lives in that effort, and did not accomplish most of our objectives.
Source: The Third Clinton-Bush-Perot Presidential Debate , Oct 19, 1992

Help former USSR: pennies on the dollar compared to cold war

Q: In the post-cold-war, what should be the overriding US national interest?

PEROT: On priorities, we've got to help Russia succeed in its revolution and all of its republics. When we think of Russia, remember we're thinking of many countries now. We've got to help them. That's pennies on the dollar compared to renewing the cold war. We've got all kinds of agreements on paper and some that are being executed on getting rid of nuclear warheads. Russia and its republics are out of control or, at best, in weak control right now. It's a very unstable situation. You've got every rich Middle Eastern country over there trying to buy nuclear weapons. We really need to nail down the intercontinental ballistic missiles, the ones that can hit us from Russia.

BUSH: You might have missed it, but I worked out a deal with Boris Yeltsin to eliminate, get rid of entirely, the most destabilizing weapons of all, the SS-18, the big intercontinental ballistic missile. That's been done, and thank God it has

Source: The First Clinton-Bush-Perot Presidential Debate , Oct 11, 1992

Time is on our side in China; many leaders are very old

CLINTON: It was a mistake when [after] Tiananmen Square, Bush sent two people in secret to tell the Chinese leaders not to worry about it. When Congress insisted that we do something about China, China finally agreed to stop sending us products made with prison labor.

BUSH: We were the first major country to stand up against the abuse in Tiananmen Square. We are the ones that worked out the prison labor deal. Gov. Clinton's philosophy is to isolate them.

PEROT: China has some very elderly leaders that will not be around too much longer. Capitalism is growing and thriving across big portions of China. We have a delicate tightwire walk that we must go through at the present time to make sure that we do not cozy up to tyrants, to make sure that they don't get the impression that they can suppress their people. But time is our friend there because their leaders will change in not too many years, worst case. And their country is making great progress.

Source: The First Clinton-Bush-Perot Presidential Debate , Oct 11, 1992

Russia: reduce nukes; contain imperialism; send aid

    The breakup of the Soviet empire is fraught with risks: nationalism and ethnic strife; potential for nuclear mischief; and a real danger that reform will fail My policy would be to work both unilaterally and closely with the Europeans, the Japanese, and collective agencies like the US to:
  1. Put nuclear warheads out of commission wherever they are.
  2. Contain any imperialistic tendencies harbored by any of the former Soviet territories. Our negotiators continue to concentrate on missile delivery systems, a vestige of Cold War arms control. The warheads are the primary threat. We cannot rest until all warheads in the former Soviet Union are accounted for and under control.
  3. Send appropriate aid, technology, support personnel, and other items to build a bulwark for liberty. Make sure the channels are established to administer our help effectively, instead of allowing it to be wasted by state enterprises or poorly conceived projects.
Source: United We Stand, by Ross Perot, p.104 , Jul 2, 1992

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Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014