As communication and transportation become more and more accessible, the global economy will continue to have an ever-growing impact on America’s domestic economy. Republican views on trade revolve around strengthening America’s presence within the global economy. Republicans believe in preserving free trade while insisting on full parity in trade with countries that attempt to take advantage of American trade agreements. They hope to be self sufficient, and use trade to enhance the economy, not support it. They do not agree with being reliant on trade with any individual country.
Republicans believe in not only preserving a strong trade position for America, but building America’s position to the point that it can dominate international trade. They propose to do this by: Revitalizing the World Trade Organization negotiations on agriculture and services, giving the next president fast-track negotiating authority, negotiating reductions in tariffs on U.S. industrial goods and the elimination of other trade barriers so that our autos, heavy machinery, textiles, preventing other products from being shut out of foreign markets, taking action against any trading partner that uses pseudo-science to block importation of U.S. bioengineered crops, advancing a Free Trade Area of the Americas to take advantage of burgeoning new markets at our doorstep, and revising export controls to tighten control over military technology and ease restrictions on technology already available commercially.
Improving International Trade
International trade is crucial for the American economy. It creates jobs, keeps wages up, and creates a better standard of living for our citizens. Every $1 billion in additional U.S. exports means another 5,000 jobs domestically. Over ten billion jobs have been created by the Free Trade Agreements negotiated with friendly democracies since Reagan’s 1985 pact with Israel. For this reason, Republicans are extremely critical of the slowness in completing agreements with friendly nations seen in recent Democratic administrations.
Chinese Trade Offenses
Republicans do see a downside to the explosion of international trade. Some governments, such as China, have used unfair means to limit American access to their markets while simultaneously piggybacking off of western designs, patents, brands, know-how, and technology. Republicans believe that China manipulates its currency to the disadvantage of American exporters, excludes American products from government purchases, subsidizes Chinese companies to give them a commercial advantage, and invents regulations and standards designed to keep out foreign competition.
Republicans are very critical of the response that Democratic administrations have had to these offenses, which has been to do virtually nothing. For this reason, Republicans fully support revamping trade agreements with China, insisting on full parity in trade with China. They also support imposing countervailing duties if China fails to amend its currency policies. Republicans hope to crack down on keeping counterfeit goods out of the country, and encourage victimized firms to raise claims at the World Trade Organization in addition to in U.S. courts.
Remove Special Interests From Trade
American workers can surpass the competition that exists within international trade when they are given the fairness of an even playing field. For that reason, Republicans would like to see a restoration of presidential Trade Promotion Authority. This would ensure up or down votes in Congress on new trade agreements, and would reduce, or ideally eliminate, meddling in trade agreements by those with special interests.
Party Bifurcation on Free Trade
While the Republican Party’s platforms and outward stance on free trade remain the same, some members of the party are starting to change their views. A Wall Street Journal-NBC News Poll conducted in 2007 found a rising percentage of Republicans were worried that free trade was negatively impacting the American economy. Six in 10 Republicans that participated in the poll agreed with a statement that free trade has been bad for the U.S. and said they would agree with a Republican candidate who favored tougher regulations on foreign imports. “It’s a lot harder to sell the free-trade message to Republicans,” said Republican pollster Neil Newhouse. Many leading Republican candidates are still trying to promote free trade, however. “Our philosophy has to be not how many protectionist measures can we put in place, but how do we invent new things to sell” abroad, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said in an interview. “That’s the view of the future. What [protectionists] are trying to do is lock in the inadequacies of the past.”
Donald Trump on Trade
One Republican that does agree with stricter regulations on trade is Donald Trump. In fact, Trump is more than hesitant about free trade. Trump is anti-trade in general. His views have been described as “dangerous” by many, including Boeing Company Chairman of the Board Jim McNerney. Trumps plan includes entirely scrapping multiple trade deals, imposing punitive tariffs on Chinese imports, and forcing companies such as Apple to bring their manufacturing back to the U.S. Trump has described this plan as advocating for fair trade, stating, “Our goal is not protectionism but accountability.” Trump’s plan includes forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors. He hopes to reclaim millions of American jobs by putting an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards. He plans to strengthen America’s negotiating position by lowering the corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home.
Trump’s enforcement plan for all Chinese trade ultimatums includes deploying a strengthened U.S. military in the East and South China Seas. Trump believes this will discourage Chinese adventurism and show America’s strength as we begin renegotiating our trading relationship with China.
- Restoring the American Dream – GOP
- Republican Party on Free Trade – On The Issues
- Republicans Grow Skeptical On Free Trade – WSJ
- ‘Dangerous’ Trump trade policies attacked by top businessman – CNBC
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