Free trade is a subject on which both candidates appear to start from the same position, commitment to free trade. From that point, their positions swiftly diverge. Bush would:
supports restoration of “fast-track” negotiating authority for the
opposes linking trade agreements to labor and environmental issues
supports the expansion of NAFTA throughout the Americas
supports the admission of China and Taiwan to the WTO
wants strict enforcement of anti-dumping and other laws
against “unfair” trade
intends to revise export controls to tighten control over military technology and ease restrictions on commercial technology
wants to make international financial institutions more
accountable and transparent
strongly supports free trade, saying that the case for it is “not just monetary but moral” and pledging to make the expansion of trade a consistent priority“
Source: The Economist, “Issues 2000”
Sep 30, 2000
Sow free trade and farmers will reap
Q: What will you do as president to help farmers get sufficient pay for their work? A: I would be a free trading president, a president that will work tirelessly to open up markets for agricultural products all over the world. I believe our American
farmers. can compete so long as the playing field is level. That’s why I am such a strong advocate of free trade and that’s why I reject protectionism and isolation because I think it hurts our American farmers.
Source: Republican debate in West Columbia, South Carolina
Jan 7, 2000
A free market promotes dreams and individuality
[After visiting China], I’ll never forget the contrast between what I learned about the free market at Harvard and what I saw in the closed isolation of China. Every bicycle looked the same. People’s clothes
were all the same. a free market frees individuals to make distinct choices and independent decisions. The market gives individuals the opportunity to demand and decide, and entrepreneurs the opportunity to provide.
Source: “A Charge to Keep”, p. 61.
Dec 9, 1999
Import fees are not the answer to foreign competition
In 1999, when a glut of foreign oil drove prices below $12 a barrel, many of my friends in the oil business wanted the government to rescue them through price supports. . . I understand the frustration of people.
but I do not support import fees. . . I believe it makes sense to use the tax code to encourage activities that benefit America. But I do not want to put up fees or tariffs or roadblocks to trade.
Source: “A Charge to Keep”, p. 65-66.
Dec 9, 1999
The fearful build walls; the confident demolish them.
I’ll work to end tariffs and break down barriers everywhere, entirely, so the whole world trades in freedom. The fearful build walls. The confident demolish them. I am confident in American workers and farmers and producers. And I am confident that
America’s best is the best in the world.
Source: Candidacy Announcement speech, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Jun 12, 1999
Bush pledged to revisit guest worker programs and other ways for immigrants to come into the country, but said he would insist on immigration controls and a waiting period before citizenship.
Source: Mike Glover, Associated Press
Aug 6, 1999
George W. Bush on NAFTA & WTO
Add Chile, Brazil, Argentina, & others to NAFTA
Q: Would you pursue a hemispheric trade deal extending the benefits of NAFTA to Central and South America and the Caribbean?
A: My administration will foster democracy and level barriers to trade. If elected, my goal will be
free trade agreements with all the nations of Latin America. We can do so in cooperation with our NAFTA partners. We should also do so with Chile, and Brazil and Argentina, the anchor states of Mercosur. We will also work toward free trade with the
smaller nations of Central America and the Caribbean. We must be flexible because one-size-fits-all negotiations are not always the answer. But the ultimate goal will remain constant, free trade from
northernmost Canada to the tip of Cape Horn. In the near term, we will renew trade preferences with the Andean nations - enacted in 1991, and set to expire next year.
Source: Associated Press
Oct 31, 2000
No trade barriers from Alaska to the tip of Cape Horn
Bush went campaigning in Mexico today, dedicating the World Trade Bridge in Laredo. “In the past there have been walls of divide between Mexico and the US,” Bush said. “We must be committed to raise the bridges of trade & friendship & freedom.” Bush said
the opening of the bridge was an example of the growing economic ties between the US and Mexico. In promising to push aggressively for free trade in this hemisphere, Bush said he would tear down trade barriers from Alaska to “the tip of the Cape Horn.”
Source: Jim Yardley, New York Times
Apr 24, 2000
Fast Track in west; WTO in east
Bush said he would seek “fast-track” negotiating status from Congress to expand free trade in the Western Hemisphere: “I will work to create an entire hemisphere in free trade,” he said. “I will work to extend the benefits of NAFTA from the northernmost
Alaska to the tip of Cape Horn.” He said he wanted to build on NAFTA to bring other countries throughout Latin America Meanwhile, the Bush campaign distributed a policy statement that said he supports admission of China and Taiwan to the WTO.
Source: Kelley Shannon, Associated Press, in L.A. Times
Apr 24, 2000
Supports Fast Track; WTO; NAFTA; anti-dumping
Supports Fast Track negotiating authority for the President
Called for eliminating trade barriers & tariffs everywhere so the whole world trades in freedom
Called for strict enforcement of anti-dumping & other unfair trade laws
expansion of NAFTA throughout the Americas
Supports China’s & Taiwan’s admission into the WTO
Supports revising export controls, to tighten control over military technology & ease restrictions on technology already available commercially