George W. Bush 2000 On The Issues
Governor Bush believes the United States
will continue to be prosperous and competitive in the global marketplace
if we embrace free trade. As President, he will work with Congress to
restore Presidential trade negotiating authority and reassert American
leadership on trade internationally. His priorities will include expanding
free trade within our hemisphere, negotiating other regional and bilateral
market-opening agreements, supporting the entry of China and Taiwan into
the World Trade Organization, launching an ambitious new round of global
trade talks, and enforcing American laws against unfair trade practices.
Governor Bush believes that free trade is “a forward strategy for
freedom,” and that as American goods and services enter foreign countries,
so, too, do American values.
Governor Bush’s Principles and
President, Governor Bush will be committed to tearing down trade barriers
abroad and keeping markets open at home because he understands that trade
is increasingly important to continued U.S. prosperity. Free trade is as
critical to America’s high tech companies as it is to America’s farm
sector, where one in three acres of farmland is planted with crops for
export. Exports have accounted for almost one-third of real U.S. economic
growth over the last decade, and support an estimated 12 million American
jobs, including one in five manufacturing jobs. Export-related jobs pay
13 to 18 percent more than other jobs.
Leadership: The Clinton-Gore Administration is the first in almost
25 years to fail to obtain "fast track" trade negotiating authority from
Congress. The lack of this authority has hobbled the Administration's
ability to initiate new market-opening initiatives and undermined
America's traditional leadership role in global trade negotiations.
With the U.S. trade deficit reaching record highs – $265 billion in 1999
and an estimated $350 billion in 2000 – Governor Bush believes new
leadership is needed to advance America’s global economic interests. As
President, he will work to build a bipartisan consensus at home in support
of free trade, and exercise leadership abroad to tear down barriers to
U.S. goods and services. He has already demonstrated his commitment to
free trade and to bipartisan leadership by actively and openly supporting
the Administration's efforts to bring China into the World Trade
"A Forward Strategy for Freedom:" Governor Bush views trade as
linked to America's larger foreign policy goals. He agrees with President
Ronald Reagan, who called trade "a forward strategy for freedom" – as
American goods and services enter foreign markets, so, too, do American
values, like freedom, respect for human rights, democracy.
Governor Bush’s Trade Priorities
As President, Governor Bush will work to
expand free trade through market-opening initiatives, and he will work to
enforce fair trade rules. Governor Bush believes that Americans can
compete with anyone if the rules are fair. His priorities will be to:
Work on a bipartisan
basis to restore 'fast track' trade negotiating authority for the
Fulfill the promise
of hemispheric free trade by building on the success of the North
American Free Tree Agreement (NAFTA) and other regional market-opening
agreements in other regions with individual countries or groups of
Support the admission
of China and Taiwan into the World Trade Organization, and work to
Support the launch of
an ambitious new round of global trade negotiations.
Lead efforts to
secure America’s competitive advantage in the New Economy by preventing
other countries from erecting barriers to innovation.
anti-dumping and other American laws to combat unfair trade practices.
Reform American export controls by tightening control
over truly sensitive military technologies and products, and easing
restrictions on widely available civilian technologies.
Frequently Asked Questions
By supporting increased trade with China and Chinese membership in the
World Trade Organization, isn’t Governor Bush putting a higher priority on
commercial interests than on human rights, nuclear proliferation and
This is not a question of priorities. On the right
terms, increased trade with China is not a favor to China – it’s in our
own national interest.
As we introduce
American goods and services into China, we will also introduce American
values. This will be a priority under Governor Bush.
Free trade with China
is in America’s and Asia’s security interest.
Free trade with China will provide American
businesses and farmers access to China's growing market and narrow our
trade deficit with China, which in 1998 reached nearly $60 billion.
Also, in order to join the World Trade Organization, China is agreeing
to live by fair trading rules and subject itself to dispute settlement.
believes the Clinton-Gore Administration is wrong to view China as a
“strategic partner.” Governor Bush views China not as our partner, but
as our competitor.
As competitors, we
will find some areas of mutual benefit, such as opening Chinese markets
to American goods and services. In other areas, our interests will
diverge, and we will have to be vigilant.
What will Governor Bush do to protect
America workers and businesses from competition from countries that have
little or no labor standards?
Like all Americans,
Governor Bush wants to see improved working conditions worldwide.
The best way to
address this issue is not through unilateral trade sanctions, but
through international agreements. That’s why Governor Bush supports
international reform efforts, such as the International Labor
Organization’s “Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labor,” and the
World Trade Organization provision that permits member countries to ban
imports made by prison labor.
At the same time we
must guard against countries using labor standards as an excuse to erect
protectionist barriers. The primary goal of our trade policy should be
to open markets abroad because the better way to raise living and
working standards is to increase trade.
Doesn’t free trade lead to the erosion of
environmental standards abroad?
In most countries,
trade and higher living standards result in more, not less, support for
As people move beyond
a struggle for survival, a clean environment and other aspects of life
become a priority and the wealth and resources needed to attack
environmental problems are generated.
Instead of trade
sanctions, we should work with other countries to forge multilateral
environmental policies based on sound science.
The World Trade Organization is an
undemocratic institution controlled by unelected foreign bureaucrats,
who routinely run roughshod over American interests and strike down
American laws on health and safety standards, among other things. How
can you justify continued U.S. membership in such an organization?
The WTO is not
controlled by unelected bureaucrats. It is controlled by the
governments of its members.
The WTO is not
undemocratic. It operates on the basis of one country-one vote, and
most major decisions are made by consensus.
The WTO is not
unresponsive to the will of the people: the Executive Branch negotiated
the WTO rules, and Congress approved them.
The WTO has no power
to change, alter, or amend any law or regulation of the United States.
The Constitution says that only one body can do that – the United
If the WTO decides that some American law or
regulation violates WTO rules, the United States always has a choice:
change the law, or stand our ground and compensate our trading partners
or allow them to raise barriers against our exports.
Source: George W. Bush for President 2000 Web Site
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