Bernie Sanders on Free Trade

Democratic primary challenger; Independent VT Senator; previously Representative (VT-At-Large)


Not one word in USMCA that deals with climate change

What the environmental groups are saying, we're simply exporting fossil fuel emissions to Mexico. There is not one word in that trade agreement that deals with climate change and I don't know how in 2020 you can do that. Second of all, there is, in terms of outsourcing of jobs, a major crisis in this country. Nobody believes that under this Trump trade agreement that they will not be continued and significant outsourcing of jobs into low wage Mexico.
Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH , Feb 7, 2020

Need trade deal that includes stakeholders, not just CEOs

Q: You support the USMCA?

SANDERS: It is not so easy to put together new trade legislation. If this is passed, I think it will set us back a number of years. Senator Warren is right in saying we need to bring the stakeholders to the table, the family farmers here in Iowa and in Vermont and around the country, the environmental community, and the workers. I am sick and tired of trade agreements negotiated by the CEOs of large corporations behind doors.

Sen. Elizabeth WARREN: I led the fight against the trade deal with Asia and the deal with Europe, because I didn't think it was in the interests of the American people. But we have farmers who are hurting. They are hurting because of Donald Trump's initiated trade wars. This new trade deal is a modest improvement. It will give some relief to farmers. It will give some relief to workers. I believe we accept that relief, and we get up the next day and fight for a better trade deal.

Source: 7th Democrat primary debate, on eve of Iowa caucus , Jan 14, 2020

USMCA agreement does not prevent outsourcing or talk climate

Q: Will you support the trade agreement among the US, Canada, and Mexico, recently passed by the House?

Sanders: I voted against NAFTA, voted against PNC with China, agreements that cost four million decent-paying jobs. I don't agree this is going to be a great job creator. This is a modest improvement that would allow Mexican workers to negotiate decent contracts. But it is not going to stop outsourcing. It is not going to stop corporations from moving to Mexico. We need a trade policy that stands up for workers, stands up for farmers, and, by the way, the word "climate change" is not discussed, which is an outrage. I will not be voting for this agreement.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar: I am voting for it; I believe we have a change with this agreement. We've got better labor standards, better environmental standards, and a better deal when it comes to the pharmaceutical provision. While Senator Sanders is correct, there are some issues with it, is much better than the one originally proposed.

Source: Newshour/Politico/PBS December Democratic primary debate , Dec 19, 2019

Trade policies should focus on U.S. jobs & lifting the poor

You can't have a trade policy based on tweets. What you need is comprehensive trade policies which represents the working people of this country, and not just the CEOs of large corporations.

Do we need to change our trade policies, so that we protect jobs in America? Yes. Do we need to work with other countries to lift up the poorest people around the world? Yes, we do. But Trump's erratic threats and trade policies are not the way to go.

Source: CNN "SOTU" 2019 interview series , Jun 9, 2019

FactCheck: NAFTA displaced 851,700; but net loss 15,000/year

CLAIM: Trump, in urging Congress to support his new trade agreement, said he had met men and women across the country whose "dreams were shattered by NAFTA" [implying job losses].

FACT-CHECK: One analysis of the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) found that about 851,700 U.S. jobs were displaced by the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico between 1993 (shortly before NAFTA was implemented) and 2014. That's a data point that was cited by Bernie Sanders during his 2016 campaign, when he frequently decried job losses due to NAFTA.

A 2014 study found that while NAFTA has caused about 203,000 jobs to be displaced by NAFTA-related imports annually, imports support 188,000 new jobs, leading to a net loss of only about 15,000 annually.

And the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service wrote in 2017 that "in reality, NAFTA did not cause the huge job losses feared by the critics... because trade with Canada & Mexico accounts for a small percentage of U.S. GDP."

Source: NBC News Fact-Check on 2019 State of the Union address , Feb 6, 2019

Real problem with trade is jobs shipped overseas

Tonight, Trump talked about what a great job he has done on trade. But what he forgot to tell you is that the annual trade deficit has gone up by over $100 billion since he became president and our trade deficit with China and Mexico has gone up by tens of billions of dollars. Meanwhile, since Trump was elected corporations have shipped 185,000 American jobs overseas.
Source: Progressive response to 2019 State of the Union speech , Feb 5, 2019

Expand "Buy American" and "Buy Local" as government policy

When we talk about unrestricted free trade, it is important to understand that these policies have been developed in a bipartisan manner, with the support of both Republican and Democratic presidents. Corporate America spoke, the leaders of both parties responded to its needs, and American workers suffered.

We must expand, not limit, "Buy American," "Buy Local," and other government policies that will increase jobs in the United States. This includes service-sector contracts that prevent companies from sending government call center and data processing facilities to the Philippines and other countries.

Moreover, we need to make sure that strong and binding labor, environmental, and human rights standards are written into all trade agreements.

Source: Guide to Political Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 44-8 , Aug 29, 2017

Corporate greed drives business abroad

Companies benefit in innumerable ways from being based in America, by using taxpayer-funded infrastructure, accessing the most highly trained and productive workforce in the world, using numerous government services, and so much more. They are proud to be American companies. That is, until it's time to pay their fair share of taxes.

And some of the worst offenders are the big Wall Street banks. In 2008, Congress passed a $700 billion bailout, paid for by American taxpayers. And the Federal Reserve gave the financial institutions $16 trillion in virtually zero-interest loans.

But just two years later, at a time when the nation was suffering from a huge deficit--largely created by the recession that Wall Street caused--the major financial institutions did everything they could to avoid paying American taxes by, among other things, establishing shell corporations in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 268-269 , Nov 15, 2016

American jobs must no longer be our number one export

Economists across the political spectrum--including the pro-NAFTA Peterson Institute for International Economics, which estimated that 39 percent of the growth in U.S. wage inequality is attributable to our disastrous trade deals--agree that "free" trade has contributed to rising U.S. income inequality. U.S. manufacturing workers who lose jobs to trade and find new employment are typically forced to take significant pay cuts. Three out of every five displaced manufacturing workers who were rehired in 2014 took home smaller paychecks, and one out of three lost more than 20 percent of his or her income.

We have got to turn this around/ American jobs must no longer be our number one export. We must not only defeat the TPP, we must fundamentally renegotiate our failed trade agreements--including NAFTA, PNTR with China, and other existing trade pacts.

Source: Our Revolution, by Bernie Sanders, p. 295 , Nov 15, 2016

Don't believe that unfettered trade creates U.S. jobs

CLINTON: I voted for a multinational trade agreement, but I opposed CAFTA because I did not believe it was in the best interests of the workers of America. I did hope that the TPP, negotiated by this administration, I was holding out hope that it would be the kind of trade agreement that I was looking for. Once I saw the outcome, I opposed it. We are 55 of the world's population. We have to trade with the other 95%.

SANDERS: I do not believe in unfettered free trade. I believe in fair trade which works for the middle class and working families, not just large multinational corporations. I was on the picket line in opposition to NAFTA. We heard people tell us how many jobs would be created. I didn't believe that for a second because I understood what the function of NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, and the TPP is, it's to say to American workers, hey, you are now competing against people in Vietnam who make 56 cents an hour minimum wage. This is an area where the secretary and I have disagreements

Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire , Feb 4, 2016

I will take on corporations that take their jobs to China

There are many corporations who have turned their backs on the American worker, who have said, if I can make another nickel in profit by going to China and shutting down in the United States of America, that's what I will do. I will do my best to transform our trade policy and take on these corporations who want to invest in low-income countries around the world rather than in the United States of America.
Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire , Feb 4, 2016

I strongly opposed NAFTA and DOMA from their inception

I have strongly criticized the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Defense of Marriage Act since a certain presidential couple enacted them back in the 90's. Six months ago, when I began my campaign and announced we were going to take on these types of legislation, as well as the political and economic establishment of this country, very few people knew who I was. Well, in the last six months, things have changed.
Source: ABC News on 2015 presidential Democratic hopefuls in Iowa , Oct 25, 2015

Priority of trade deals should be helping American workers

Bernie Sanders believes that the top priority of any trade deal should be to help American workers. Unfortunately, as Bernie has warned year after year, American trade policy over the last 30 years has done just the opposite. Multinational corporations- who have helped to write most of these trade deals--have benefited greatly while millions of American jobs have been shipped overseas. American trade policy should place the needs of American workers and small businesses first.
Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues" , Sep 5, 2015

Base trade policy on working families, not multinationals

Q: The president says that expanding trade helps service industries & opens new markets. You talk about workers that would lose their job from trade. They say this will open up markets that will increase jobs.

SANDERS: I have been hearing that argument for the last 25 years. I heard it about NAFTA. I heard it about CAFTA. I heard it about permanent normal trade relations with China. Here is the fact. Since 2001, we have lost almost 60,000 factories and millions of good-paying jobs. I'm not saying trade is the only reason, but it is a significant reason why Americans are working longer hours for low wages and why we are seeing our jobs go to China and other low-wage countries. And, finally, what you're seeing in Congress are Democrats and some Republicans beginning to stand up and say, maybe we should have a trade policy which represents the working families of this country, that rebuilds our manufacturing base, not than just representing the CEOs of large multinational corporations.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2015 coverage:2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 14, 2015

Wrong, wrong, wrong that trade deals create jobs here

Q: As secretary of state, Clinton said she favored a trade deal with our 11 Pacific partners & fast track authority to make that happen. Is that an issue for you?

SANDERS: In the House and Senate, I voted against all of these terrible trade agreements, NAFTA, CAFTA, permanent normal trades relations with China. Republicans and Democrats, they say, "oh, we'll create all these jobs by having a trade agreement with China." Well, the answer is, they were wrong, wrong, wrong. Over the years, we have lost millions of decent paying jobs. These trade agreements have forced wages down in America so the average worker in America today is working longer hours for lower wages.

Q: So, is that a litmus test for you, to see whether or not Clinton is going to come out against the TPP?

SANDERS: I hope very much the secretary comes out against it. I think we do not need to send more jobs to low wage countries. I think corporate America has to start investing in this country and create decent paying jobs here.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Apr 19, 2015

48,000 US factories shut down under Bush due to trade

They want to expand--and it is not only Republicans here, some Democrats as well--our disastrous trade policies so large companies can continue their efforts to outsource American jobs to China and other low-wage countries. Any objective analysis of our trade policies has shown it has been a grotesque failure for ordinary Americans. It is hard to calculate exactly, but I think it is fair to say we have lost millions of decent-paying jobs. During the Bush years alone, some 48,000 factories shut down. We went from 19 million manufacturing jobs to 12 million manufacturing jobs. Historically, in this country, manufacturing jobs were the backbone of the working class. That is how people made it into the middle class. That is how they had decent health care benefits and pensions. Every day we are seeing those jobs disappear because corporate America would prefer to do business in China or other low-wage countries.
Source: The Speech: A Historic Filibuster, by Bernie Sanders , Dec 10, 2010

Disastrous trade policies lead to collapse of middle class

I think one of the reasons unemployment is so high, one of the reasons the middle class is collapsing, has a lot to do with these disastrous trade policies. All this stuff emanates from corporate leaders whose sense of responsibility is such that they want themselves to become richer, they want more and more profits for their company, but they could care less about the needs of the American people.

I remember there was one CEO of a large, one of our largest American corporations, and he said: "When I look at the future of General Electric, I see China, China, China, and China." By the way, we ended up bailing out that particular corporation. He didn't look to China to get bailed out, he looked to the taxpayers of this country.

But the word has to get out to corporate America, they are going to have to start reinvesting in the United States of America. They are going to have to start building the products and the goods the American people need rather than run all over in search of cheap labor.

Source: The Speech: A Historic Filibuster, by Bernie Sanders , Dec 10, 2010

US trade policies represent interests of corporate America

I am certainly not a big fan of Bill Clinton's politics. As a strong advocate of a single-payer health care system, I opposed his convoluted health care reform package. I have helped lead the opposition to his trade policies, which represent the interests of corporate America and which are virtually indistinguishable from the views of George Bush and Newt Gingrich. I opposed his bloated military budget, the welfare reform bill that he signed, and the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which he supported. He has been weak on campaign finance reform and has caved in far too often on the environment. Bill Clinton is a moderate Democrat. I'm a democratic socialist.

Yet, without enthusiasm, I've decided to support Bill Clinton for president. If Bob Dole were to be elected president, there would be an unparalleled war against working people.

Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p. 24 , Jun 17, 1997

Agreed with Ross Perot's critique of trade policy

Although I agree with his critique of American trade policy and his opposition to NAFTA, I am no great fan of Ross Perot. There's no way he would be a major political leader if he weren't a billionaire. But I think that he is getting a bum rap from the media when they refer to his half-hour speeches as "infomericals" and make fun of his use of charts. Instead of putting 30-second attack ads on the air, he is trying to seriously discuss some of the most important issues facing the country. You may not agree with his analysis or his conclusions, but at least he's treating the American people with some respect. What's wrong with that?
Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p.168 , Jun 17, 1997

NAFTA was a sellout to corporate America

At the very same time as health care was on the congressional agenda. Clinton pushed another issue to the forefront. And on the major initiative, Clinton was just plain wrong--very wrong. His support for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was a sellout to corporate America. Pure and simple, it was a disaster for the working people of this country.

The US currently has a trade deficit of $114 billion. Economists tell us that $1 billion of investment equates to about 18,000 (often decent-paying) jobs. Connect the dots. Our current trade deficit is causing the loss of over 2 million jobs. Over the last 20 years, while the US has run up over a trillion dollars in trade deficits, millions of American workers have been thrown into the streets.

The function of trade agreements like NAFTA is to make it easier for American companies to move abroad, and to force our workers to compete against desperate people in the Third World.

Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p.179-80 , Jun 17, 1997

Bernie Sanders on Pacific Trade

Americans have to compete with people making pennies an hour

Here in Michigan trade has been a disaster. Trade agreements like NAFTA and permanent normal trade relations with China which forced American workers to compete against people making pennies an hour has resulted in the loss of 160,000 jobs here in Michigan. Some four million jobs all over this country. I helped lead the effort against these disastrous trade agreements.
Source: Meet the Press interview on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Mar 8, 2020

Trump's actions on trade destabilizing world economy

What the president is doing is totally irrational, and it is destabilizing the entire world economy. You do not make trade policy by announcing today that you're going to raise tariffs by X-%, and the next day by Y-%, by attacking the person you appointed as head of the Federal Reserve as an enemy of the American people, by denouncing the president of China, who last year you really loved as a great leader. This kind of instability causing very serious harm to the entire world economy.
Source: CNN State of the Union interview for 2019 Democratic primary , Aug 25, 2019

I disagree with Obama on TPP, but he's done a great job

Q: President Obama is for the Asian trade deal known as TPP. Is President Obama, based on this policy, a progressive?

SANDERS: If we remember where this country was seven years ago, 800,000 jobs lost monthly, $1.4 trillion dollar deficit, the financial system on the verge of collapse. I think that President Obama has done a fantastic job. Do I think President Obama is a progressive? Yes, but I disagree with him on issues including the trade agreement, but I think he has done an excellent job.

Source: MSNBC Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire , Feb 4, 2016

China trade has led to loss of 3M American jobs so far

Q: What does Bernie's track record look like with regard to Chinese trade policy?

A: Time and time again, Bernie has voted against free trade deals with China. In 1999, Bernie voted in the House against granting China "Most Favored Nation" status. In 2000, Bernie voted against Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China which aimed to create jobs, but instead lead to the loss of more than 3 million jobs for Americans.

Q: Maybe these trade agreements aren't all great for Americans, but don't they provide millions of jobs for Chinese workers?

A: Bernie firmly rejects the idea that America's standard of living must drop in order to see a raise in the standard of living in China.

Q: So what does Bernie propose we do?

A: Instead of passing such trade deals again and again, Bernie argues we must "develop trade policies which demand that American corporations create jobs here, and not abroad."

Source: 2016 grassroots campaign website FeelTheBern.org, "Issues" , Sep 5, 2015

End disastrous NAFTA, CAFTA, and PNTR with China

Since 2001 we have lost more than 60,000 factories in this country, and more than 4.9 million decent-paying manufacturing jobs. We must end our disastrous trade policies (NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, etc.) which enable corporate America to shut down plants in this country and move to China and other low-wage countries. We need to end the race to the bottom and develop trade policies which demand that American corporations create jobs here, and not abroad.
Source: 2016 presidential campaign website, BernieSanders.com , Mar 21, 2015

Stop TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Trade Policies that Benefit American Workers:
Since 2001 we have lost more than 60,000 factories in this country, and more than 4.9 million decent-paying manufacturing jobs. We must end our disastrous trade policies (NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, etc.) which enable corporate America to shut down plants in this country and move to China and other low-wage countries. We need to end the race to the bottom and develop trade policies which demand that American corporations create jobs here, and not abroad.

[We should also] sign the petition to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership--another trade deal disaster.

Source: 12 Steps Forward, by Sen. Bernie Sanders , Jan 15, 2015

How can we compete against people who make 23 cents an hour?

Are American workers going to be able to compete against desperate people who make 23 cents an hour?

I asked the guy who was in charge of all the Walmarts in Asia--I asked him a simple question: Tell me, how many of these American company products are actually manufactured in the United States?

He was a little bit sheepish and a little bit hesitant and he said: Well, about 1 percent. Obviously, what everybody knew, it is a lot cheaper for the American companies to set up plants in China, hire Chinese workers at 50 cents an hour, 75 cents an hour, whatever it is, and have them build the product for the Chinese markets than it is to pay American workers $15 an hour, $20 an hour, provide health insurance, deal with the union, deal with the environment. That is not a great revelation. I think anybody could have figured that one out. But the big money interests around here pushed it and Congress and President Clinton, at that time, signed it and we were off and running.

Source: The Speech: A Historic Filibuster, by Bernie Sanders , Dec 10, 2010

NAFTA, GATT, and MFN for China must be repealed

What about the hemorrhage of jobs abroad? Can we do anything about the disastrous effects of the global economy on American workers? According to the experts, no. But the experts echo the message their employers want us to hear.

We need to address the issue of trade forthrightly and understand that our current trade policy is an unmitigated disaster. Our current record-breaking merchandise trade deficit of $112 billion is costing us over 2 million decent paying jobs. NAFTA, GATT, and Most Favored Nation status with China must be repealed, and a new trade policy developed.

Let's look at some of the components of a sensible trade policy. First, we must recognize that trade is not an end in itself. The function of American trade policy must be to improve the standard of living of the American people. America's trade policy must be radically changed, by committing ourselves to a "fair" rather than "free" trade policy.

Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p.237 , Jun 17, 1997

Bernie Sanders on Voting Record

Does not support ANY free trade agreements

Q: What do you think about the new TPP trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

SANDERS: I voted against NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China. I think they have been a disaster for the American worker. A lot of corporations that shut down here move abroad. Working people understand that after NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China we have lost millions of decent paying jobs. Since 2001, 60,000 factories in America have been shut down. We're in a race to the bottom, where our wages are going down. Is all of that attributable to trade? No. Is a lot of it? Yes. TPP was written by corporate America and the pharmaceutical industry and Wall Street. That's what this trade agreement is about. I do not want American workers to competing against people in Vietnam who make 56 cents an hour for a minimum wage.

Q: So basically, there's never been a single trade agreement this country's negotiated that you've been comfortable with?

SANDERS: That's correct.

Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd , Oct 11, 2015

Rated 33% by CATO, indicating a mixed record on trade issues.

Sanders scores 33% by CATO on senior issues

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.

Source: CATO website 02n-CATO on Dec 31, 2002

Extend trade restrictions on Burma to promote democracy.

Sanders co-sponsored extending trade restrictions on Burma to promote democracy

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.

Source: S.J.RES.16 07-SJR16 on Jun 14, 2007

Review free trade agreements biennially for rights violation.

Sanders signed H.R.3012

    Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment Act or the TRADE Act:
  1. review biennially certain free trade agreements (including Uruguay Round Agreements) between the US and foreign countries to evaluate their economic, environmental, national security, health, safety, and other effects; and
  2. report on them to the Congressional Trade Agreement Review Committee (established by this Act), including analyses of specified aspects of each agreement and certain information about agreement parties, such as whether the country has a democratic form of government, respects certain core labor rights and fundamental human rights, protects intellectual property rights, and enforces environmental laws.
    Declares that implementing bills of new trade agreements shall not be subject to expedited consideration or special procedures limiting amendment, unless such agreements include certain standards with respect to:
  1. labor;
  2. human rights;
  3. environment and public safety;
  4. food and product health and safety;
  5. provision of services;
  6. investment;
  7. procurement;
  8. intellectual property;
  9. agriculture;
  10. trade remedies and safeguards;
  11. dispute resolution and enforcement;
  12. technical assistance;
  13. national security; and
  14. taxation.
Requires the President to submit to Congress a plan for the renegotiation of existing trade agreements to bring them into compliance with such standards. Expresses the sense of Congress that certain processes for U.S. trade negotiations should be followed when Congress considers legislation providing special procedures for implementing bills of trade agreements.
Source: TRADE Act 09-HR3012 on Jun 24, 2009

Impose tariffs against countries which manipulate currency.

Sanders signed Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act

[Explanatory note from Wikipedia.com `Exchange Rate`]:

Between 1994 and 2005, the Chinese yuan renminbi was pegged to the US dollar at RMB 8.28 to $1. Countries may gain an advantage in international trade if they manipulate the value of their currency by artificially keeping its value low. It is argued that China has succeeded in doing this over a long period of time. However, a 2005 appreciation of the Yuan by 22% was followed by a 39% increase in Chinese imports to the US. In 2010, other nations, including Japan & Brazil, attempted to devalue their currency in the hopes of subsidizing cheap exports and bolstering their ailing economies. A low exchange rate lowers the price of a country`s goods for consumers in other countries but raises the price of imported goods for consumers in the manipulating country.

Source: HR.639&S.328 11-S0328 on Feb 14, 2011

Fight Chinese predatory trade practices on car tires.

Sanders 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.

Sanders 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: Congressional vote 15-S0995 on Oct 19, 2015

Oppose USMCA until more environmental & job protections.

Sanders voted NAY USMCA Implementation Act

Summary from Congressional Record and Wikipedia:Vote to amend the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and establish the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Rather than a wholly new agreement, it has been characterized as `NAFTA 2.0`; final terms were negotiated on September 30, 2018 by each country. The agreement is scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2020.

Case for voting YES by Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL); (Dec. 19, 2019)The USMCA includes stronger protections for American workers and enforceable labor standards, as well as environmental protections. It eliminates the Trump Administration`s threat that the US could walk away entirely from the trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, which would devastate US jobs and our economy.

Case for voting NO by Jared Huffman (D-CA); (Dec. 19, 2019) Democratic negotiators did a lot to improve Donald Trump`s weak trade deal, especially in terms of labor standards and enforcement, but the final deal did not reach the high standard that I had hoped for. The NAFTA renegotiations were a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lift labor and environmental standards across the continent--to lock in serious climate commitments with two of our largest trading partners and dramatically improve labor standards and enforcement to slow the rise of outsourcing.

Legislative outcome: Bill Passed (Senate) (89-10-1) - Jan. 16, 2020; bill Passed (House) (385-41-5) - Dec. 19, 2019; signed at the G20 Summit simultaneously by President Trump, Mexican President Enrique Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Nov. 30, 2018

Source: Congressional vote 19-HR5430 on Dec 19, 2019

Rated 13% by the USAE, indicating support for trade sanctions.

Sanders scores 13% by USA*Engage on trade issues

Ratings by USA*Engage indicate support for trade engagement or trade sanctions. The organization`s self-description: `USA*Engage is concerned about the proliferation of unilateral foreign policy sanctions at the federal, state and local level. Despite the fact that broad trade-based unilateral sanctions rarely achieve our foreign policy goals, they continue to have political appeal. Unilateral sanctions give the impression that the United States is `doing something,` while American workers, farmers and businesses absorb the costs.`

VoteMatch scoring for the USA*Engage ratings is as follows :

Source: USA*Engage 2011-2012 ratings on Congress and politicians 2012-USAE on Dec 31, 2012

No MFN for China; condition trade on human rights.

Sanders adopted the Progressive Caucus Position Paper:

The Progressive Caucus opposes awarding China permanent Most Favored Nation trading status at this time. We believe that it would be a serious setback for the protection and expansion of worker rights, human rights and religious rights. We also believe it will harm the US economy. We favor continuing to review on an annual basis Chinas trading status, and we believe it is both legal and consistent with US WTO obligations to do so. The Progressive Caucus believes that trade relations with the US should be conditioned on the protection of worker rights, human rights and religious rights. If Congress gives China permanent MFN status, the US will lose the best leverage we have to influence China to enact those rights and protections. At the current time, the US buys about 40% of Chinas exports, making it a consumer with a lot of potential clout. So long as the US annually continues to review Chinas trade status, we have the ability to debate achievement of basic worker and human rights and to condition access to the US market on the achievement of gains in worker and human rights, if necessary. But once China is given permanent MFN, it permanently receives unconditional access to the US market and we lose that leverage. China will be free to attract multinational capital on the promise of super low wages, unsafe workplace conditions and prison labor and permanent access to the US market.

Furthermore, giving China permanent MFN will be harmful to the US economy, since the record trade deficit with China (and attendant problems such as loss of US jobs, and lower average wages in the US) will worsen. For 1999, the trade deficit is likely to be nearly $70 billion. Once China is awarded permanent MFN and WTO membership, the trade deficit will worsen.

Source: CPC Position Paper: Trade With China 99-CPC1 on Nov 11, 1999

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