John Kerry on Free Trade
Jr Senator (MA), Democratic nominee for President
A: I support free trade, but I don't support what the Bush administration calls free trade. I will order an immediate 120-day review of all trade agreements to ensure that our trading partners are living up to their labor and environment obligations and that trade agreements are enforceable and are balanced for America's workers. I won't sign any new trade agreements unless they contain strong labor and environmental standards.
KERRY: Yes, it is fair, because Gov. Dean has said very specifically that we should not trade with countries until they have labor and environment standards that are equal to the US. That means we would trade with no countries. It is a policy for shutting the door. It's either a policy for shutting the door, if you believe it, or it's a policy of just telling people what they want to hear.
DEAN: I supported NAFTA, I supported the WTO. We benefited in Vermont from trade. But in the Midwest, our manufacturing jobs are hemorrhaging. We have to go back and revise every single trade agreement that we have to include labor standards, environmental standards & human rights standards. If we don't, the trade policy that we seek to help globalize and help workers around the country & the world is going to fail.
KERRY: It would be a terrible mistake for the US to suddenly try to button up and move away from globalization. It's happening, no matter what.
We have to manage it more effectively. What we need is not to cancel NAFTA. We need trade. Fritz Hollings had a great article in the paper today with a number of things that would make sense to do. What's missing is a president who is prepared to negotiate to keep it from being a rush to the bottom, to raise the standards for people.
We can negotiate a raising of the standards of labor and environment. The US could be the marketer of sustainable development practices, and still open markets for us.
We need to export our capitalism and our democracy. They go hand in hand. But we need a president who is prepared to negotiate the tough trade agreements that protect people.
KERRY: I have been fighting to have labor and environment standards in trade agreements. I worked to make sure we had it in the Jordan agreement and in the Vietnam side agreement. You didn't need it in Chile is because they have high standards and they enforce them. The important thing is, I would not support the Free Trade of the Americas Act or the Central American Free Trade Act until they have stronger standards in them. If they sent them to my desk, I'd veto them.
Write New Rules for the Global Economy
The rise of global markets has undermined the ability of national governments to control their own economies. The answer is neither global laissez faire nor protectionism but a Third Way: New international rules and institutions to ensure that globalization goes hand in hand with higher living standards, basic worker rights, and environmental protection. U.S. leadership is crucial in building a rules-based global trading system as well as international structures that enhance worker rights and the environment without killing trade. For example, instead of restricting trade, we should negotiate specific multilateral accords to deal with specific environmental threats.
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.
|Other candidates on Free Trade:
|John Kerry on other issues:
George W. Bush
Third Party Candidates:
Carol Moseley Braun
|Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts