Tom Tancredo on Free Trade
Republican Representative (CO-6)
A: The reason why it becomes a national security problem is because the bulk of our imbalance of trade is a result of our importation of oil from countries that are not our friends. That’s really where it rests. The rest of the stuff we bring in doesn’t constitute that kind of threat to the US. But when we supply funds for the people in other countries that have a malicious intent in regard to the US, it’s a national security issue.
A: It is illegal to import that kind of thing. The problem is, no one really pays a lot of attention to a lot of our laws, with regard to immigration of both people and, now in this case; items, goods and services. I voted against permanent normalized trade relations with China.
In particular, of course, I’m talking about the immigration-related issues. I offered an amendment on the floor of the House during the debate on CAFTA, the Central America Free Trade Agreement, to say that there will be no immigration issues contained inside of a trade package. It was defeated.
We are talking about trade issues that actually begin to impact our national sovereignty. There’s the problem. We are reducing the importance of borders and increasing the threat to national sovereignty with the kind of trade programs that we put through up to this point in time.
A: Recently, Felipe Calderon, the President of Mexico, stated that Mexico does not end at its borders. He said that where there is a Mexican, there is now Mexico. To hear a president of another country suggest that the borders between you do not exist, and to not have our president turn to them and say, “Are you nuts?”--there is something called a border, and it must be defended. We are not simply just residents of the North American continent. That is exactly where this thing is going, a sort of an economic union where everybody believes trade is such a good thing--and I certainly think trade can be good--but why do you have to go ahead and diminish your national sovereignty in the hopes of influencing trade? Never will that happen in my administration.
The same thing is happening throughout the West. Since the Maastricht Treaty finalizing the European Union was adopted, Europeans have become citizens of a union rather than remain sovereign Dutch, German, etc. citizens. For many Europeans, their nation has simply become a place they reside, no longer a part of their identity.
Multicultural elites now frequently describe themselves as “citizens of the world.” If given the chance, they would replace loyalty to any one country to humanity, to Mother Earth, and in some cases, loyalty to them. This rhetoric has trickled down to impressionable youth. Too frequently they tell me that America is a continent, not a nation. Multiculturalism had advanced so much that it denigrates the value of a national birthright.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. RANGEL: It's absolutely ridiculous to believe that we can create jobs without trade. I had the opportunity to travel to Peru recently. I saw firsthand how important this agreement is to Peru and how this agreement will strengthen an important ally of ours in that region. Peru is resisting the efforts of Venezuela's authoritarian President Hugo Chavez to wage a war of words and ideas in Latin America against the US. Congress should acknowledge the support of the people of Peru and pass this legislation by a strong margin.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. WU: I regret that I cannot vote for this bill tonight because it does not put human rights on an equal footing with environmental and labor protections.
Rep. KILDEE: All trade agreements suffer from the same fundamental flaw: They are not self-enforcing. Trade agreements depend upon vigorous enforcement, which requires official complaints be made when violations occur. I have no faith in President Bush to show any enthusiasm to enforce this agreement. Congress should not hand this administration yet another trade agreement because past agreements have been more efficient at exporting jobs than goods and services. I appeal to all Members of Congress to vote NO on this. But I appeal especially to my fellow Democrats not to turn their backs on those American workers who suffer from the export of their jobs. They want a paycheck, not an unemployment check.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. RANGEL: In recent years, trade policy has been a dividing force. This legislation develops a new trade policy that more adequately addresses the growing perception that trade is not working for American workers. The Trade and Globalization Assistance Act would expand training and benefits for workers while also helping to encourage investment in communities that have lost jobs to increased trade--particularly in our manufacturing sector. The bill is a comprehensive policy expanding opportunities for American workers, industries, and communities to prepare for and overcome the challenges created by expanded trade.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. McCRERY: We should be considering trade adjustment assistance in the context of trade opportunities generally for US workers. That is to say, I think we should be considering modifications to our assistance network in the context of the pending free trade agreements that are before the Congress. Unfortunately, we are not doing that. We are considering TAA in isolation. [We should instead] restructure TAA from a predominantly income support program into a job retraining program. Other problems include that H.R. 3920 would:
Declares that the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact should be allowed to expire under its own terms on September 30, 2001. Expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that Article I, section 10 of the United States Constitution should not be used to renew the interstate economic protectionism of our Nation's early history.
The mission of the Cato Institute Center for Trade Policy Studies is to increase public understanding of the benefits of free trade and the costs of protectionism.
The Cato Trade Center focuses not only on U.S. protectionism, but also on trade barriers around the world. Cato scholars examine how the negotiation of multilateral, regional, and bilateral trade agreements can reduce trade barriers and provide institutional support for open markets. Not all trade agreements, however, lead to genuine liberalization. In this regard, Trade Center studies scrutinize whether purportedly market-opening accords actually seek to dictate marketplace results, or increase bureaucratic interference in the economy as a condition of market access.
Studies by Cato Trade Center scholars show that the United States is most effective in encouraging open markets abroad when it leads by example. The relative openness and consequent strength of the U.S. economy already lend powerful support to the worldwide trend toward embracing open markets. Consistent adherence by the United States to free trade principles would give this trend even greater momentum. Thus, Cato scholars have found that unilateral liberalization supports rather than undermines productive trade negotiations.
Scholars at the Cato Trade Center aim at nothing less than changing the terms of the trade policy debate: away from the current mercantilist preoccupation with trade balances, and toward a recognition that open markets are their own reward.
The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
A joint resolution approving the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003. The original act sanctioned the ruling military junta, and recognized the National League of Democracy as the legitimate representative of the Burmese people.
Legislative Outcome: Related bills: H.J.RES.44, H.J.RES.93, S.J.RES.41; became Public Law 110-52.
This resolution urges disengaging from the NAFTA Superhighway System and the North American because these proposals threaten U.S. sovereignty:
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Newly-elected Democrats taking office Jan.2017:
Newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2017: