Mike Rounds on Free Trade

Republican SD Governor

Bound under state commitment to CAFTA.

Rounds is profiled in ALIPAC report on Governors

States' commitments under CAFTA:

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) compiled a list of the status of each of the 50 states with regards to CAFTA procurement. For states that have rescinded their commitment, we infer that the incumbent governor strongly opposes CAFTA (because the state made a commitment and then un-made it). For states that declined to commit, we infer that the incumbent governor somewhat opposes CAFTA. For states that committed, we infer that the incumbent governor supports CAFTA.

CAFTA is the Central American Free Trade Agreement. CAFTA expands NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement, between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) to five Central American nations (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua), and the Dominican Republic. It passed Congress on July 27, 2005.

Opposition to CAFTA procurement rules (by Public Citizen): Should an international trade agreement determine how we are allowed to spend our domestic tax dollars? Prior to the passage of CAFTA, the majority of state governments agreed: Subjecting decisions about how to spend state taxpayer dollars to second-guessing by foreign trade tribunals is a bad idea! As a result, a bi-partisan group of governors withdrew their initial agreement to bind their states to comply with CAFTA's procurement rules. Many other governors simply avoided binding their states to CAFTA's procurement rules in the first place. Common state economic development and environmental policies are prohibited by trade agreement procurement rules include:

Source: Americans for Legal Immigration PAC report 14_Lt_FT on Aug 7, 2005

Reauthorize the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program.

Rounds signed reauthorizing the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program

The nation's governors urge Congress to move forward to reauthorize and modernize the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program before it expires on September 30, 2007. Governors recognize that although expanded trade and innovation can have widespread benefits, they can also have a disproportionately heavy impact on certain communities and workers. While the creation of new jobs is underway in many parts of the country, not every U.S. worker that may have lost his or her job due to trade will be able to find employment comparable to their prior position, notably because many hold training and skills for jobs that no longer exist. Governors, therefore, support proposals to improve the TAA program as a means to address this problem, and especially proposals that are designed to give workers more control and flexibility over their TAA training and to streamline the program's bureaucracy.

The economic strength and competitiveness of the nation will only be as strong as the combined economic strength and competitiveness of the states, and the firms and workers within them. Because today's jobs require more and more workers to have advanced training and education, Governors firmly support efforts that seek to ensure that their citizens will have the skills they need to compete in today's changing economy and that give states the tools they need to provide those opportunities.

We look forward to working with Congress as it proceeds towards reauthorization of the TAA program, as it is an important component of the nation's strategy to advance a comprehensive, integrated, and flexible workforce system. If passing such a reauthorization becomes impossible prior to the program's expiration in September, we ask that any temporary program extension include clear "hold harmless" language that ensures that the states will be fully reimbursed by the federal government for any benefit payments or other TAA costs they may incur during any extension period.

Source: Letter from 4 governors to House & Senate leadership NGA-0709FT on Sep 7, 2007

Other candidates on Free Trade: Mike Rounds on other issues:
SD Gubernatorial:
Dennis Daugaard
SD Senatorial:
Gordon Howie
John Thune
Larry Pressler
Rick Weiland

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Page last updated: Jan 06, 2015