Mitt Romney on Trade Policy
Governor Romney is a free trade supporter. He supports free trade programs such as NAFTA and CAFTA. However, in 2007, Governor Romney stated that he opposed unification of the US, Mexico, and Canada into the North American Union and the North American Superhighway.
In July of 2007, Governor Romney stated that emerging markets such as India and China represented new areas for our goods, as long as our trade laws were fair and balanced. In February of 2011, he followed up these statements by asserting that US trade policies with China had not been beneficial for the US and that stronger intellectual property polices should be pursued.
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Governor Romney asserted that his business experience would give him an edge as President in understanding the effects of trade policies on the US economy. He stated his support for free trade and noted that the average US family was $9,000 richer as a result of international trade. Governor Perry also proposed the creation of a new organization which would be similar to the World Trade Organization, but which would hold members to a higher standard. These standards would include an adherence to intellectual property rights and an allowing the currency value of a nation to float with the market and not be regulated by the government.
Governor Romney has also stated that nations that enact protectionist tariffs and policies eventually crumble. His 2012 campaign website states that access to foreign markets is crucial to growing the US economy, and that the US should follow through on commitments we have already made and push aggressively for advantageous new agreements.
2012 Trade Plan
Free trade is featured prominently in Governor Romney's 2012 economic plan and he asserts that open markets have helped to make America powerful and prosperous. The trade portion of Governor Romney's plan begins by being critical of President Obama's actions while in office. Governor Romney asserts that President Obama has refused to pass free trade agreements with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea because he is hoping to get a Trade Adjustment Assistance passed as well. The TAA would pay for re-eduction and training for workers who lose their jobs due to trade, and Governor Romney states that the trade policies would actually create new jobs for people.
If elected President, Romney's plan states that he would sign the pending deals with South Korea, Columbia, and Panama and seek new trade deals with countries like India and Brazil. To accomplish this, Governor Romney will seek Trade Promotion Authority. Also known as “Fast Track” TPA is a process that gives the executive branch the authority to negotiate and write trade agreements and delegates away Congress’ constitutional power to set the terms of U.S. trade policy. Congress then gets an up and down vote on the trade agreement and not the ability to craft it. Governor Romney states in his plan that allowing every congressman to add sections that favor their own special interests creates a situation where no agreement can ever be finalized. This TPA was used under President George W Bush and was sought by President Obama.
Governor Romney's plan also calls for finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This agreement will open up the Malaysian and Vietnamese markets.
A final facet of Governor Romney's plan includes the creation of a "Reagan Economic Zone." This zone would codify the principles of free trade at the international level and allow a mechanism for countries that violate free trade policies to be punished.
Glenn Beck Appearance
In April of 2007 Governor Romney appeared on the Glenn Beck program and was asked about a possible North American Union. Governor Romney stated his opposition to such an idea, and to the North American superhighway.
In July of 2007, Governor Romney was asked about the affects of emerging markets such as China and India as part of a Bloomberg questionnaire. He stated that with free and fair trade, the US could still compete.
Is the U.S. losing its innovation edge to emerging powers such as China and India?
China and the rest of Asia are on the move economically and technologically. We must be ready and able to compete. This means ensuring our children are educated to compete in this new market, our trade laws are fair and balanced, and our economy and tax laws welcome new investment. If America acts boldly and swiftly, the emergence of Asia will be an opportunity. Trade and commerce with these huge new economies can further strengthen our economy and propel our growth. If America fails to act, we will be eclipsed.
In October of 2007, Governor Romney participated in a Presidential debate in Dearborn, Michigan. He stated that he supported free trade policies.
Higher Standard WTO
In November of 2007, Governor Romney released a trade proposal in which he called for a new organization similar to the World Trade Organization (WTO), but with a higher standard for protecting U.S. intellectual property rights and require that their currencies float at market rates.
We have to say that if you want to have real trade with America and our friends around the world, you need to abide by a higher standard.
You can’t do the special deals that are being done by the Chinese, that are being done to protect their economy.
Des Moines Register Debate
In December of 2007, Governor Romney participated in the Republican Presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa. He stated that his business sector experience gave him an understanding of how trade affects Americans.
In December of 2007, Governor Romney appeared on CNBC and was interviewed by Larry Kudlow. He stated that putting up barriers to free trade and enacting other protectionist measures would ultimately lead to a decline in the US economy.
Any economy that's tried to put barriers up to keep itself from having to compete with innovation around the world is an economy which ultimately ends up collapsing and becoming second tier
Laura Ingraham Show
In February of 2011, Governor Romney appeared on the Laura Ingraham show and spoke about the emergence of China and our trade policies relative to that nation.
The emergence of China, with the trade policies they've pursued, has not necessarily been good for us. These are real concerns, and I think we have to recognize we have a real world power emerging, and that represents a threat to us.
Believe in America Plan
On September 6, 2011 Governor Romney proposed his economic plan, which he callled the Believe in America Plan. One of the main facets of his plan was increasing free trade and obtaining new free trade agreements.
2012 Campaign Website Statements
FREE TRADE ON FAIR TERMS
Open markets on fair terms for our products and services around the world
Access to foreign markets is crucial to growing our economy. We must reassert American leadership in international negotiations, follow through on commitments we have already made, and push aggressively for advantageous new agreements.
 Website: CNBC Article: Romney Calls for 'Higher-Standard' WTO Author: Julia La Roche Accessed on: 06/24/2011
 Website: MSNBC Article: Romney releases free-trade proposal Author: AP Accessed on: 06/24/2011
 Website: The Hill Article: Romney: China represents 'threat' to world Author: Michael O'Brien Accessed on: 06/24/2011