Cynthia McKinney on Free Trade

Green Party nominee for President (Former Rep., D, GA-4)

No Fast Track; no MFN for China; no WTO; no CAFTA

Q: Briefly state your position on the following issue: Trade Policy.

A: In 1998, I voted no on giving the Clinton Administration 'Fast Track' authority for trade agreements. In 1999, I voted to oppose Most Favored Nation status for China; and to condition trade with China on an improved human rights record. In 2000, I voted yes to support U.S. withdrawal from the World Trade Organization. In 2005, I voted in opposition to implementing Central America Free Trade Agreement.

Source: Green Party 2008 Presidential Candidate Questionnaire Feb 3, 2008

Repeal NAFTA & CAFTA to address immigration problems

Q: What will you do about immigration?

A: Well, first of all, I would repeal NAFTA and CAFTA. Because we have this issue of immigration because we have unfair practices in our economic policy, military policy, and foreign policy to those parts of the world from which these people are coming. I would want first to change economic policy, military policy, and foreign policy to respect human rights, to respect the environment and labor, and have a race to the top instead of a race to the bottom.

Source: 2008 Green Presidential Debate moderated by Cindy Sheehan Jan 13, 2008

Put a stop to these "free trade" agreements, and quickly

We have to put a stop to these "free trade" agreements, and quickly. After 14 years of NAFTA it is absolutely clear that unemployment in the US has risen as a result of this treaty. We are losing jobs--especially jobs with living wages and benefits--to all these "free trade" agreements, be it NAFTA, CAFTA, the Caribbean FTA, the US-Peru FTA, you name it. The American workers are not benefiting from these agreements. Their jobs and communities are being destroyed.
Source: Interview with "Reconstruction Renaissance" Jan 8, 2008

Voted NO on implementing CAFTA, Central America Free Trade.

To implement the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement. A vote of YES would:
Reference: CAFTA Implementation Bill; Bill HR 3045 ; vote number 2005-443 on Jul 28, 2005

Voted YES on withdrawing from the WTO.

Vote on withdrawing Congressional approval from the agreement establishing the World Trade Organization [WTO].
Reference: Resolution sponsored by Paul, R-TX; Bill H J Res 90 ; vote number 2000-310 on Jun 21, 2000

Voted NO on 'Fast Track' authority for trade agreements.

Vote to establish negotiating objectives for trade agreements between the United States and foreign countries and renew 'fast track' authority for the President.
Reference: Bill introduced by Archer, R-TX.; Bill HR 2621 ; vote number 1998-466 on Sep 25, 1998

No MFN for China; condition trade on human rights.

McKinney 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 China’s 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 China’s exports, making it a consumer with a lot of potential clout. So long as the US annually continues to review China’s 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

Other candidates on Free Trade: Cynthia McKinney on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

GOP V.P. Possibilities:
Gov.Haley Barbour(MS)
Gov.Charlie Crist(FL)
Mayor Rudy Giuliani(NYC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Sen.Joe Lieberman(CT)
Gov.Tim Pawlenty(MN)
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Gov.Mark Sanford(SC)

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Libertarian: Sen.Mike Gravel
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
Libertarian: Rep.Ron Paul
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Page last updated: Oct 01, 2008