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Elizabeth Warren on Free Trade

 

 


Alternative to bad trade deals is not to shut down all trade

Most of the pro-trade guys act like everyone who opposes a trade deal is some medieval troll who thinks we'll survive by crushing our own berries, weaving our own cloth, and eating raw squirrels. But the alternative to a bad trade deal is not to shut down all trade. The alternative to a bad trade deal is a trade deal that works for everyone and not just for a handful of corporate executives and big investors.

If labor representatives had a substantial number of seats at the table , I guarantee that the trade deals would be written differently and that the promises that were made would have some serious muscle to back them up.

There's so much more we could do if we actually had a trade policy that was about making the economy work better for

Source: This Fight is Our Fight, by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, p.186-7 , Apr 18, 2017

Why can corporations sue on trade deals, but workers can't?

Trade deals are complicated. They are sort of like very long contracts with lots and lots of fine print. They include all kids of promises about things that countries will and won't do, but not every country follows up on every one of those promises. Deep in the fine print of our trade deals is a provision saying that if a multinational corporation thinks a country has not one what it promised to do under the terms of the deal, then the corporation can go to an arbitration panel, get a quick judgment, and, if the corporation wins, it can demand immediate payment from the government. No appeals, not nothing, just pay up.

Nut what if that country violates other terms of the agreements, such as those that prohibit companies using prison labor or dumping toxic waste into rivers? Can workers or environmental groups go to that same high -speed arbitration panel? No. They have to do to their own government and try to persuade it to bring a lawsuit to an international court.

Source: This Fight is Our Fight, by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, p.186-7 , Apr 18, 2017

Middle-class are angry at trade deals

Coming out of the Great Depression our country built the greatest middle class the world had ever known. But now, that great middle class is on the ropes. All across the country, people are worried--worried and angry.

People are angry because trade deals seem to be building jobs and opportunities for workers in other parts of the world, while leaving abandoned factories here at home. Angry because young people are getting destroyed by student loans, working people are deep in debt, and seniors can't make their Social Security checks cover their basic living expenses. Angry because we can't even count on the fundamentals--roads, bridges, safe water, reliable power--from our government.

People are angry, and they are RIGHT to be angry. Because this hard won, ruggedly built, infinitely precious democracy of ours has been hijacked.

Today this country works great for those at the top. It works great for every corporation rich enough to hire an army of lobbyists and lawyers.

Source: This Fight is Our Fight, by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, p. 3-5 , Apr 18, 2017

Strong export economy means influence around the world

Our economic power at home is linked to our strength around the world. A strong economy at home enables us to have the best-trained and most advanced military in the world--and the standing in the world such that we don't always need to use it. A strong economy at home enables us to export goods to foreign customers. A strong economy at home gives us influence over events occurring all around the world. And a strong economy at home enables us to spread the values of democracy and human rights. We are one of the most powerful countries in the history of the world precisely because we are one of the strongest economies in the history of the world.

As a Senator, I will never forget the link between our economic power and our global power, and I will fight to make sure we build a strong economy, so we can remain a powerful force for good around the world.

Source: 2016 Veepstakes: campaign website ElizabethWarren.com , Jul 2, 2016

Key is fair, enforceable agreements that protect workers

6/23/2015 Tariffs today are generally low. As a result, modern trade agreements are less about reducing tariffs and more about writing new rules for everything from labor, health, and environmental standards to food safety, prescription drug access, and copyright
Source: 2016 Veepstakes: Warren OpEd in Boston Globe , Jun 23, 2015

Against a Pacific Trade Deal that only works for rich

Warren and the progressive left, scarred by trade deals past like the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, have launched a vocal fight against granting the president so-called "fast-track" authority to negotiate a 12-country Pacific trade deal. "Are you ready to fight? No more secret deals. No more special deals for multi-national corporations. Are you ready to fight? Are you ready to fight any more deals that say we're going to help the rich get richer and leave everyone else behind?"
Source: National Public Radio on 2016 Veepstakes , Apr 22, 2015

Make trade deals transparent, even if that causes opposition

I have hear the argument that transparency would undermine the Trade Representative's policy to complete the trade agreement because public opposition would be significant. In other words, if people knew what was going on, they would stop it. This argument is exactly backwards. If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not be the policy of the United States.
Source: Quotable Elizabeth Warren, by Frank Marshall, p. 11 , Nov 18, 2014

Trade deals are Christmas gifts for big corporations

For big corporations, trade agreement time is like Christmas morning. They can get special gifts they could never pass through Congress out in public.

Fair trade: If we are going to sell our products to the rest of the world, we need to strengthen trade laws and ensure their enforcement. We need to make sure that those we compete with also respect workers' rights and environmental rules.

Source: Quotable Elizabeth Warren, by Frank Marshall, p. 77&145 , Nov 18, 2014

No secrecy in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations

[Regarding] the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), many proponents of the agreements argue that negotiations need to take place in secret in order to protect the fragile interests of participating countries. This has not sat well with public interest groups and more liberal members of the Democratic Party, including Warren.

Last year, she went to far as to vote against Obama's then-nominee for the head of the Office of the US Trade Representative, Michael Froman, because of that lack of transparency as the 10 countries involved in the TPP discuss terms. "I have heard the argument that transparency would undermine the Trade Representative's policy to complete the trade agreement because public opposition would be significant," she said. "In other words, if people knew what was going on, they would stop it. This argument is exactly backwards. If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not be US policy."

Source: Megan R. Wilson in TheHill.com weblog, "Clinton vs. Warren" , Aug 24, 2014

Make things & sell things to the rest of the world

We need a 21st century manufacturing base and expanded service capacity. We need a set of workable rules that don't tangle up those who are trying to create something new. We need to be able to invent things, make things, and sell things to the rest of the world. We did that once, and we can do it again.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, elizabethwarren.com , Dec 10, 2011

Fair trade respecting worker rights and environment

Fair trade: If we are going to sell our products to the rest of the world, we need to strengthen trade laws and ensure their enforcement. We need to make sure that those we compete with also respect workers' rights and environmental rules.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, www.elizabethwarren.com , Sep 15, 2011

Fight Chinese predatory trade practices on car tires.

Warren signed fighting Chinese predatory trade practices on car tires

Excerpts from Letter from 31 Senators to the Secretary of Commerce: We are writing in strong support of the Department's decision to initiate antidumping and countervailing duty investigations of passenger vehicle and light truck tires from China.

China has targeted the tire sector for development and there are several hundred tire manufacturing facilities now operating in that country. In 2009, the United Steelworkers (USW) sought relief from a flood of similar tires from China that were injuring our producers and their workers.

Unfortunately, shortly after relief expired in 2012, imports of these tires from China once again skyrocketed. In June 2014, the USW alleged dumping and subsidies, identifying dumping margins as high as 87%. Our laws need to be fairly and faithfully enforced to ensure that workers can be confident that, when they work hard and play by the rules, their government will stand by their side to fight foreign predatory trade practices.

America's laws against unfair trade are a critical underpinning of our economic policies and economic prosperity. Given the chance, American workers can out-compete anyone. But, in the face of China's continual targeting of our manufacturing base, we need to enforce our laws.

Opposing argument: (Cato Institute, "Burning Rubber", Sept. 11, 2009) USW and the unions feel that they have earned the president's support. The president is presumed to owe Big Labor for his election last November. Will the president do what is overwhelmingly in the best interest of the country? Or will he do what he thinks is best for himself politically? The president should reject the recommendations of the USITC and deny import restrictions altogether. A decision to reject trade restraints in the tires case would be reassuring to a world that is struggling to grow out of recession. The costs of any protectionism under these circumstances could unleash a protectionist backlash in the US an

Source: Car Tire Letter 14LTR-USW on Sep 16, 2014

Voted FOR reauthorizing Ex-Im Bank.

Warren voted NAY Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization Act

Heritage Action summary of vote# S206: The Senate voted to table (kill) an amendment by Sen. Kirk to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. Sen. Kirk recommends voting NO. Heritage Foundation recommends voting YES because the "Ex-Im Bank is little more than a $140 billion slush fund for corporate welfare."

OnTheIssues explanation: Voting NO would allow a vote on reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank. Voting YES would kill the bill for reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank.

Sierra Club reason for conditionally voting NO (from previous bill S.819):Sen. Shaheen's bill S.824 reauthorizes the Ex-Im Bank without undermining Obama's Climate Action Plan. The Sierra Club supports the bill because it makes both financial and environmental sense for the US and all of its taxpayer-backed financial institutions--including Ex-Im--to stop investing in dirty and dangerous fossil fuels like coal.

Cato Institute reason for voting YES to kill the bill:The Ex-Im Bank's reauthorization buffs contend that Ex-Im fills a void left by private sector lenders unwilling to provide financing for certain transactions. Ex-Im's critics [say that] by effectively superseding risk-based decision-making with the choices of a handful of bureaucrats pursuing political objectives, Ex-Im risks taxpayer dollars. It turns out that for nearly every Ex-Im financing authorization that might advance the fortunes of a single US company, there is at least one US industry whose firms are put at a competitive disadvantage. These are the unseen consequences of Ex-Im's mission.

Source: Supreme Court case 15-S0995 argued on Oct 19, 2015

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