Our focus needs to be ensuring that America is competitive in the global marketplace - through our quality of life, productivity, and education.
We need to promote & provide good paying jobs all across America, so that everyone can have a decent standard of living. “Made in America” is not just something that Republicans stand for; Democrats have always been the party of good-paying American jobs, and it’s time we reclaim that title.
As a result of free trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP, PNTR with China and the WTO, Americans have lost millions of decent paying jobs. CEOs/investors and high-level execs of big global corporations were getting massively wealthy, while the US was running unprecedented trade deficits, about $500B/year, or 4% of GDP. The US lost 2.4M jobs to China trade alone between 1990-2010, while running the largest trade deficits with that country in recorded history. Displaced workers lost incomes, homes, marriages. Also, America should never sacrifice our sovereignty. The only people who should be allowed to make laws for the United States should be the American people, not multinational corporations.
Free trade agreements may have sounded good in theory when put in place years ago, but it’s time to end the race to the bottom and renegotiate these rigged deals that only benefit the corporate elites. My plan is to work with the Congressional Progressive Caucus and congressmen like Ro Khanna and Ted Lieu, to work on a comprehensive alternative trade policy, which allows for FAIR trade, not FREE trade; where we buy America first, but when we do trade, make sure that our trading partners have as much respect for their workers, and our planet, as America does (or should, once we return Democrats to Congress).
What will I do?
- Join the Congressional Progressive Caucus and work with progressive congressmen and women on a comprehensive alternative trade policy, calling for more fair and balanced trade agreements.
- Some of the key points of a fair trade policy would include allowing countries to protect their social arrangements, including workers rights, human rights, and environmental laws; give Congress authority to set objectives; and eliminate “fast-track trade authority”, which allows our president to negotiate in secret
- Trade discussions should be less about enforcing drug company patents, and more about issues that affect working families – raising taxation on global corporations, shutting down tax havens, pushing for global carbon tax, blocking currency manipulation
- Trade policies should include trade vouchers that would put pressure on trading partners to increase imports, reduce exports, or pay fines; enforcing labor rights, human rights, consumer and environmental protections; expanding and defending “Buy America First” government procurement policies (taxpayers should demand that their taxes go to support jobs in America, not across the world).Winners from global trade should compensate the losers, and displaced American workers get assistance under Trade Adjustment Assistance Act.