China gains advantage by slavery & currency manipulation
Q: Given the WTO guidelines, could you actually restrict trade with China?
A: This is an adversarial relationship today. That needs to change. But when you manipulate your currency as they do, in violation of the WTO here, to the tune of 40%, youíve
immediately created a huge disadvantage for our country. When you employ slave labor in the production of your manufactured goods, when you deny access on your shelves to the products and services we produce, it is not a competition. Itís adversarial.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Democratic debate
Dec 13, 2007
We need to get fair with China
I donít mind competing with someone as long as weíre operating under the same rules. When you have the Chinese government make it more difficult for us to access even entertainment, not to mention, of course, the intellectual property theft that goes on.
Youíre still using slave labor, you manipulate your currency to give you a 40% advantage over our manufacturers, thatís no longer just a competitor, thatís a very different relationship. Now, itís obviously important not to get bellicose.
This is a very important relationship for us in the 21st century, but I think Americans are tired of this conversation, somehow, that itís business as usual. Itís not. We donít have the same access to our shelves, to our services that weíd like to sell.
We need to get fair if weíre going to have a better relationship or before long this will no longer be the most desirous market for them, and we will have disadvantaged our country substantially.
Ban Chinese imports until safety & security is guaranteed
Q: Would you favor a temporary ban on the importation of all toys from China until we are convinced that theyíre not coming into our country and harming our children?
A: Certainly. Look, I advocated this some time ago here. We would shut down a
company in this country in 20 minutes if they were using excessive lead paint, sending toothpaste and animal food to this country that was contaminated and causing great harm and danger to people here. The idea that the president would not suspend
the importation of those products to our country I think was terribly wrong-headed. And certainly I would advocate that that be done until we have the guarantees of security. And beyond this issue, we ought to establish in this country, given the amount
of products we now bring into this country offshore, that there is some sort of ability here to make some judgment about the safety and security of these products coming in, certainly before they leave their country. So I would certainly do that.
Include labor, environmental & health in trade deals
Q: Would you scrap NAFTA or fix it?
A: I think this requires modification. But we also need to do something else here. In addition to having trading agreements that include labor, environmental, health provisions in them, insisting on those provisions
in any trading agreement here, we need to stop exporting the jobs in the country that already are here. I offered legislation by banning the outsourcing of jobs in the Senate.
Source: 2007 AFL-CIO Democratic primary forum
Aug 7, 2007
Prohibit Defense Department from outsourcing contracts
Q [to Sen. Gravel]: A lot of Americans are concerned with outsourcing of US jobs. Whatís your solution?
GRAVEL: Outsourcing is not the problem. What is the problem is our trade agreements that benefit the management and the shareholders.
disagree. I think itís a huge issue here. The fact of the matter is weíre exporting a lot of valuable jobs in this country & we shouldnít be doing it. I offered legislation that was passed that prohibited the Defense Department for outsourcing contracts,
going off our shores here when many hard-working Americans ought to be allowed to do those jobs. I talked earlier about providing tax incentives. When you have people literally driving to the international airports to fly to some country to provide some
funding for a local project in those nations, bypassing the very communities that could very well use those kind of jobs and economic growth, that is wrong. I will continue to do what I can to see to it that we limit outsourcing American jobs.
Vote on final passage of a bill to implement the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement.
Opponents of the bill say to vote NAY because:
International trade can confer tremendous benefits on all of its participants. Unfortunately, the Oman Free Trade Agreement fails to live up to that potential.
In 2001, the US entered into a similar trade agreement with the country of Jordan. The agreement was heralded for its progressive labor standards. However, we have recently seen in Jordan instances of foreign workers forced into slave labor, stripped of their passports, denied their wages, and compelled to work for days without rest.
These incidents have been occurring in Jordan because Jordanian labor laws preclude protections for foreign workers. My fear in Oman is that they have far weaker labor standards, and that would lend itself to even worse conditions than in Jordan.
When our trade partners are held to different, less stringent standards, no one is better off.
When Omani firms can employ workers in substandard conditions, the Omani workers and American workers both lose. The playing field is not level.
Proponents of the bill say to vote YEA because:
The Oman Free Trade Agreement sends a very important message that the US strongly supports the economic development of moderate Middle Eastern nations. This is a vital message in the global war on terrorism.
Since the end of WWII, the US has accepted nonreciprocal trade concessions in order to further important Cold War and post-Cold War foreign policy objectives. Examples include offering Japan and Europe nonreciprocal access to American markets during the 1950s in order to strengthen the economies of our allies and prevent the spread of communism.
Oman is quickly running out of oil and, as a result, has launched a series of measures to reform its economy. This free-trade agreement immediately removes Oman's uniform 5% tariff on US goods.
Voted NO on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade.
Approves the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States-Free Trade Agreement entered into on August 5, 2005, with the governments of Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua (CAFTA-DR), and the statement of administrative action proposed to implement the Agreement. Voting YES would:
Progressively eliminate customs duties on all originating goods traded among the participating nations
Preserve US duties on imports of sugar goods over a certain quota
Remove duties on textile and apparel goods traded among participating nations
Prohibit export subsidies for agricultural goods traded among participating nations
Provide for cooperation among participating nations on customs laws and import licensing procedures
Recommend that each participating nation uphold the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
Urge each participating nation to obey various international agreements regarding intellectual property rights
Reference: Central America Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act;
Bill HR 3045
; vote number 2005-209
on Jul 28, 2005
Voted NO on establishing free trade between US & Singapore.
Vote to pass a bill that would put into effect a trade agreement between the US and Singapore. The trade agreement would reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the US and Singapore. The agreement would remove tariffs on goods and duties on textiles, and open markets for services The agreement would also establish intellectual property, environmental and labor standards.
Reference: US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act;
Bill S.1417/HR 2739
; vote number 2003-318
on Jul 31, 2003
Voted NO on establishing free trade between the US and Chile.
Vote to pass a bill that would put into effect a trade agreement between the US and Chile. The agreement would reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the US and Chile. The trade pact would decrease duties and tariffs on agricultural and textile products. It would also open markets for services. The trade pact would establish intellectual property safeguards and would call for enforcement of environmental and labor standards.
Reference: US-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act;
Bill S.1416/HR 2738
; vote number 2003-319
on Jul 31, 2003
Voted NO on extending free trade to Andean nations.
HR3009 Fast Track Trade Authority bill: To extend the Andean Trade Preference Act, to grant additional trade benefits under that Act, and for other purposes. Vote to pass a bill that would enlarge duty-free status to particular products from Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, renew the president's fast-track authority and reauthorize and increase a program to make accessible retraining and relocation assistance to U.S. workers hurt by trade agreements. It would also approve a five-year extension of Generalized System of Preferences and produce a refundable 70 percent tax credit for health insurance costs for displaced workers.
Voted YES on removing common goods from national security export rules.
Vote to provide the president the authority to control the export of sensitive dual-use items for national security purposes. The bill would eliminate restrictions on the export of technology that is readily available in foreign markets.
Vote to expand trade with more than 70 countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. The countries would be required to meet certain eligibility requirements in protecting freedoms of expression and associatio
Voted YES on renewing 'fast track' presidential trade authority.
Vote to proceed to the bill which establishes negotiating objectives for trade agreements, and renews 'fast track' trade authority for the President, which allows Congress to adopt or to reject a proposed trade agreement, but not to amend it.
Voted YES on imposing trade sanctions on Japan for closed market.
Resolution supporting sanctions on Japanese products if car parts markets don't open up; and seeking sharp reductions in the trade imbalances in car sales and parts through elimination of restrictive Japanese market-closing practices.
Rated 17% by CATO, indicating a pro-fair trade voting record.
Dodd scores 17% 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.