Duncan Hunter on Free Trade

Republican Representative (CA-52)

NAFTA is a bad business deal

When we had a $3 billion trade surplus with Mexico when we passed NAFTA, and the advocates said we’re going to build on that surplus. Today we have a massive trade loss. We went immediately to a $15 billion trade loss. If you take your product made in Iowa down to the Mexican border right now and tried to get it across, you will pay a 15 percent tariff, which they moved into place after we passed NAFTA. We haven’t made good business deals between nations. NAFTA is a bad business deal.
Source: 2007 Des Moines Register Republican Debate Dec 12, 2007

Let’s buy American this Christmas season

Q: What are you going to do to make sure toys that contain lead don’t make their way into our homes?

A: China is cheating on trade, and they’re using that $200 billion trade deficit over the United States to buy ships, planes and missiles. They are clearly arming. Let’s buy American this Christmas season.

Source: 2007 GOP YouTube debate in St. Petersburg, Florida Nov 28, 2007

Reflect tariffs back at competitors

To all my colleagues who talk about the joy of free trade, that requires one thing: good business deals. We’ve made the only business deal in the world with 132 other competitors where they get to have a rebate on their taxes and then put a block up of 15% to 20% tariff against our goods, and we don’t get to do the same thing. That’s why we have a trade deficit with countries that have higher labor rates than the United States.

So we’re short on good businessmen, and I would junk those bad trade deals, bring them back to the table, and I’d practice mirror trade. If a country wants to put a 15 percent tariff against the United States, they’re going to see that reflected back at them. If they want to take it down to 1 percent, we’ll take it down to one, but there’s not going to be a one-way street any longer.

Source: 2007 Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan Oct 9, 2007

North American Union is only free trade in one direction

Q: Will you abolish all plans to promote economic integration of the North American Union?

A: I have got an idea for a real North American Union. And that would have been if Canada and Mexico, when America went into Iraq, if they had stood with us instead of running away from us, that would have been a real “North American Union.” Now, this isn’t free trade. It’s only free trade in one direction. China is moving massive amounts of goods into this country, displacing American jobs. They are cheatin on trade by devaluing their currency by more than 40%, and that is sweeping American products off the shelf and taking American jobs away. And this mass of [Mexican] trucks that come into this country will represent exposure to terrorism, because you are going to have massive cargo containers coming in, exposure for criminal elements, and lastly, that American trucking family will lose their jobs with the massive number of trucks coming in with cheap labor and cheap parts. No on the North American Union.

Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

Inappropriate to impose sanctions for persecuting Christians

Q: Today, Christians are being beaten, jailed, and expelled throughout the Muslim world. In Saudi Arabia, no church buildings are permitted, yet Saudi extremist Wahhabis have built hundreds of mosques in the US with funding from Saudi Arabia. If elected, will you take action to protest these gross injustices and persecution by denying visas or imposing trade sanctions?
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

No NAFTA Superhighway from Canada to Mexico

Q: As president, do you support the NAFTA “Superhighway” presently under construction from Mexico to Canada, portions of which shall be under foreign control?
Source: 2007 GOP Values Voter Presidential Debate Sep 17, 2007

China is cheating on trade by devaluing their currency

Q: You have said that you would deal with the enormous trade deficit America has with China. How?

A: China is cheating on trade. They devalue their currency by 40%. That undercuts the American markets, wipes American products off the shelf not only here but around the world. We’ve lost 1.8 million jobs in the US, high-paying manufacturing jobs, to China. I would enforce the law with China, the trade rules with China.

Source: 2007 Republican Debate in South Carolina May 15, 2007

Eliminate all manufacturing taxes to increase US hiring

Q: Name a tax you’d like to cut.

A: Right now our manufacturers are getting killed. We’re seeing manufacturing move offshore because a dumb trade deal that we signed with the rest of the world allows all of our exports to be taxed twice while their exports to us are not taxed at all. The only way that we can even come close to leveling that playing field is to eliminate manufacturing taxes. So eliminate all taxes on Americans who will stay in the US and make products and hire American workers.

Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC May 3, 2007

China is cheating on trade; junk our bad China trade deals

China is cheating on trade. Let me tell you how they’re cheating. If this podium was made in China, and cost $100, and it’s exported from China to the US, when it goes to the water’s edge to be exported, the government gives a check to that company, for all their taxes. They give their taxes back, at about 17%. So if this podium was $100, they give them back $17 in cash. When an American podium arrives to be sold in China, they give our exporters a bill for $17.

So before the international competition in trade even begins, before the opening kickoff of the football game, they’ve got 34 points on the scoreboard.

Just to make sure the American manufacturer never wins, they devalue their currency by 40%. [That 40% discount causes] the world to buy their products, and it’s pushing American products off the shelf. When I’m president, I’m gonna junk the bad trade deal we have with China. I’m gonna force them to the table and we’re gonna make a good deal.

Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

Voted YES on assisting workers who lose jobs due to globalization.

H.R.3920: Trade and Globalization Act of 2007: Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to allow the filing for trade adjustment assistance (TAA) by adversely affected workers. Revises group eligibility requirements for TAA to cover: (1) a shift of production or services to abroad; or (2) imports of articles or services from abroad.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. RANGEL: In recent years, trade policy has been a dividing force. This legislation develops a new trade policy that more adequately addresses the growing perception that trade is not working for American workers. The Trade and Globalization Assistance Act would expand training and benefits for workers while also helping to encourage investment in communities that have lost jobs to increased trade--particularly in our manufacturing sector. The bill is a comprehensive policy expanding opportunities for American workers, industries, and communities to prepare for and overcome the challenges created by expanded trade.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. McCRERY: We should be considering trade adjustment assistance in the context of trade opportunities generally for US workers. That is to say, I think we should be considering modifications to our assistance network in the context of the pending free trade agreements that are before the Congress. Unfortunately, we are not doing that. We are considering TAA in isolation. [We should instead] restructure TAA from a predominantly income support program into a job retraining program. Other problems include that H.R. 3920 would:

Reference: Trade and Globalization Assistance Act; Bill HR3920 ; vote number 2007-1025 on Oct 31, 2007

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 implementing US-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act: implementing free trade with protections for the domestic textile and apparel industries.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep Tom DeLay [R, TX-22]; Bill H.R.4759 ; vote number 2004-375 on Jul 14, 2004

Voted NO on implementing US-Singapore free trade agreement.

Vote to pass a bill that would put into effect a trade agreement between the United States and Singapore. The trade agreement would reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the United States 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; Bill HR 2739 ; vote number 2003-432 on Jul 24, 2003

Voted NO on implementing free trade agreement with Chile.

United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act: 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: Bill sponsored by DeLay, R-TX; Bill HR 2738 ; vote number 2003-436 on Jul 24, 2003

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

Rated 24% by CATO, indicating a pro-fair trade voting record.

Hunter scores 24% 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.

Source: CATO website 02n-CATO on Dec 31, 2002

Block NAFTA Superhighway & North American Union.

Hunter co-sponsored blocking NAFTA Superhighway & North American Union

This resolution urges disengaging from the NAFTA Superhighway System and the North American because these proposals threaten U.S. sovereignty:

Source: Resolution against the NAFTA Superhighway (H.CON.RES.40) 2007-HCR40 on Jan 22, 2007

Other candidates on Free Trade: Duncan Hunter on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010