Chuck Baldwin, Founder and Minister of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Mary Starrett, in an Aug. 11, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"Chuck Baldwin as president would 'immediately commence a systematic withdrawal from these treaties and agreements, each of which holds the potential to plunge America into war in some far-flung corner of the earth.' The US would no longer be involved in any free trade agreements, so would not mandate any regulations for foreign countries." Aug. 11, 2008 Chuck Baldwin
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), stated in a June 29, 2008 press release titled "Rely on Trade, Not Aid, to Help Third World, Says Bob Barr":
"Rather than passing new laws and calling for new strategies, the U.S. Congress should reduce trade barriers, which would help poor nations participate in the international marketplace, and fix America’s counterproductive tax, regulatory, and budget policies, which would spur growth at home and trade and investment abroad...What we need is change, but change back to an older policy of limited government and individual liberty, which is what turned America into the globe’s dominant economic power." June 29, 2008 Bob Barr
John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ), stated in a July 14, 2008 speech at the 2008 National Council of La Raza Convention in San Diego, CA:
"To get our economy on track again, and create new and better jobs, we need to compete more, not less, in the global economy. We can't build walls to foreign competition, and we shouldn't want to. America is the biggest exporter, importer, producer, manufacturer, and innovator in the world. That's why I reject the false virtues of economic isolationism. Any confident, competent country and its government should embrace competition - it makes us stronger - not hide from our competitors and cheat our consumers and workers. We can compete and win, as we always have, or we can be left behind. Lowering barriers to trade creates more and better jobs, and higher wages." July 14, 2008 John McCain
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, wrote in an artcile titled "The Real Strength of the Economy: A Labor Agenda for Workers," posted on The Progress Report website (accessed Apr. 9, 2008):
"Labor Day 2000 should also mark a new resolve to end abuse of trade by corporations under the guise of 'free trade.' Free trade sloganeering has been a means to hide corporate efforts to evade labor and environmental standards and, with the support of dictatorial regimes, to exploit workers throughout the world.
Trade policies should be based on 'pulling standards' up around the world, not on 'pulling down' our standards. Labor, joined by environmentalists and human rights advocates, should make clear the differences between the corporate managed trade and what is truly 'fair trade' that provides decent protections for workers and the environment." Apr. 9, 2008 Ralph Nader
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), stated in an Apr. 2, 2008 speech in front of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) in Phildelphia, PA:
"And I'll also oppose the Colombia Free Trade Agreement if President Bush insists on sending it to Congress because the violence against unions in Colombia would make a mockery of the very labor protections that we have insisted be included in these kinds of agreements. So you can trust me when I say that whatever trade deals we negotiate when I'm President will be good for American workers, and that they'll have strong labor and environmental protections that we'll enforce." Apr. 2, 2008 Barack Obama
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)
Hillary Clinton, US Senator (D-NY), in the Nov. 15, 2007 Democratic Debate, hosted by CNN and held in Las Vegas, NV:
"NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] was a mistake to the extent that it did not deliver on what we had hoped it would, and that's why I call for trade timeout. When I am president, I'm going to evaluate every trade agreement. We do need to get back to enforcing the ones we have, which the Bush administration has not done. They have totally abdicated that.
But I think we have to get broader than that. We've got to have enforceable labor and environmental standards. We've got the WTO [World Trade Organization] that enforces financial and corporate rights. We need the International Labor Organization and other mechanisms that will be there to enforce labor rights and environmental rights.
And that's what I intend to do as president." Nov. 15, 2007 Hillary Clinton
John Edwards, former US Senator (D-NC), offered the following in an article titled "Smarter Trade That Puts Workers First" on his official candidate website (accessed Jan. 9, 2008):
"Demand Strong Labor Laws: Many overseas workers work 12 to 16 hours a day in dangerous conditions for poverty wages, without the right to form an independent union. Requiring our trade partners to adopt and enforce basic workers' rights will prevent a global race to the bottom and help build a global middle class. Edwards believes that all of our trade partners should be required to enforce at least the core labor rights defined by the International Labor Organization: the right to organize and bargain collectively and prohibitions against forced labor, child labor, and discrimination. Edwards will pursue these goals through linkage to US trade preference programs, any new bilateral trade agreements, and future World Trade Organization negotiations." Jan. 9, 2008 John Edwards
Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, offers the following in a July 11, 2007 press release titled "Expanding Our Involvement in the Global Economy" on his official candidate website:
"Aggressively Advance Free Trade: Rudy will tear down the walls to free trade and create new markets for American-made products. He will protect America's innovations and intellectual property by enforcing our trade agreements aggressively.
Reduce corporate tax rates and regulatory burden so that Americans can better compete in the global economy.
Reform the excesses of Sarbanes-Oxley that are driving our corporations overseas to list on foreign exchanges.
Reenact the Presidential Fast-Track Trade Promotion Authority and complete the Doha Development Round." July 11, 2007 Rudy Giuliani
Duncan Hunter, US Representative (R-CA), in an article titled "Fair & Equitable Trade" on his official campaign website (accessed Jan. 11, 2008), stated:
"American workers are the most productive and innovative labor force in the world. Unfortunately, they are asked to compete in an unfair environment against other workers who make only a fraction of a living wage and are employed by companies that face few, if any, responsibilities to the environment or the long-term prospects of their employees. Our domestic manufacturers are forced to compete against foreign companies that benefit from their country's currency and regulatory regimes. Ominously, China is cheating on trade and using billions of American trade dollars to build ships, planes and missiles at an alarming rate while, at the same time, taking millions of American jobs. I will reverse this 'one-way street' with a new policy of fair trade for the American worker." Jan. 11, 2008 Duncan Hunter
ProCon.org emailed the Imperato campaign on Jan. 21, 2008 with this question. Mr. Imperato provided a response to this question and 26 others during a recorded 45-minute telephone interview with ProCon.org on Mar. 11, 2008. On Mar. 21, 2008 Mr. Imperato no longer met our eligibility criteria for inclusion on this site, and we stopped transcribing his verbal responses as of that date.
Alan Keyes, former Assistant US Secretary of State, stated in the Oct. 12, 2004 "Alan Keyes and Barack Obama Debate," hosted by Illinois Radio Network:
"Free trade is a myth--and those people who say it's a good thing are actually selling out the American people in favor of a handful of special interests who are outsourcing our jobs, allowing these despotisms in China and elsewhere to export goods into the United States when they refuse to pay the price in terms of what's needed to respect union rights and freedom of association and the decent conditions of work." Oct. 12, 2004 Alan Keyes
Steve Kubby, a Libertarian candidate and founder of the American Medical Marijuana Association, stated in a Jan. 10, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"No. Free trade is free trade -- and free trade by its very nature enhances workers' abilities to protect their OWN rights far better than any government edict ever could. Free trade makes workers more prosperous and opens up new opportunities to them, giving them ever-increasing leverage with their employers, both as individuals and as members of labor groups. One need only look at the decline of American unions to see what government involvement does to labor solidarity. A union that can't survive and serve its members without government pulling strings for it was never a real union in the first place." Jan. 10, 2008 Steve Kubby
Dennis Kucinich, US Representative (D-OH), in a Jan. 8, 2004 BuzzFlash.com article titled "Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination," stated:
"I stand for global commerce, but global commerce that's based on morality, based on the rights of workers to organize, to bargain collectively, to strike, to have decent wages, to have a safe workplace, and to have a secure retirement. It's based on human rights, on protecting people from being exploited, on prohibitions on slave labor, child labor and prison labor. My trade policies will be based on protecting the environment, protecting the quality of our air and our water and our land. Until we cancel NAFTA [North American Free Trade Agreement] and the WTO [World Trade Organization], and return to bilateral trade, conditioned on workers' rights, human rights and environmental quality principles we'll never be able to reclaim the essence of morality in our commerce because global corporations are setting the rules. And they're setting the rules without regard to the interest of people or countries. And that's why my presidency will return to bilateral trade, where we'll set the conditions. And this way, we can elevate the cause of workers not only in this country but everywhere." Jan. 8, 2004 Dennis Kucinich
Frank McEnulty, an Independent candidate and President of Our Castle Homes, in a Dec. 20, 2007 email to ProCon.org, stated:
"If we are giving up things to allow these agreements to take place then we have the right to ask that they be included. In order to make free trade agreements fair, however, we must try and ensure that everyone is playing by the same rules, which means including labor rights provisions where necessary. In the real world, though, getting these provisions included is often much easier than actually having the foreign governments enforce those same provisions." Dec. 20, 2007 Frank McEnulty
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated in a June 6, 2005 article titled "Dr. Paul's Writings: CAFTA- More Bureaucracy, Less Free Trade" on his campaign website:
"CAFTA [Central American Free Trade Agreement] and other international trade agreements do not represent free trade. Free trade occurs in the absence of government interference in the flow of goods, while CAFTA represents more government in the form of an international body. It is incompatible with our Constitution and national sovereignty, and we don't need it to benefit from international trade...
The quasi-judicial regime created under CAFTA will have the same power to coerce our cowardly legislature into changing American laws in the future. Labor and environmental rules are inherently associated with trade laws, and we can be sure that CAFTA will provide yet another avenue for globalists to impose the Kyoto Accord and similar agreements on the American people. CAFTA also imposes the International Labor Organization's [ILO] manifesto, which could have been written by Karl Marx, on American business. I encourage every conservative and libertarian who supports CAFTA to read the ILO declaration and consider whether they still believe the treaty will make America more free." June 6, 2005 Ron Paul
Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, stated at the Aug. 7, 2007 American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Democratic Presidential Forum held in Chicago, IL:
"We should never have another trade agreement unless it enforces labor protection, environmental standards and job safety.
What we need to do is say that from now on America will adhere to all international labor standards in any trade agreement. No child labor; no slave labor; freedom of association; collective bargaining, that is critically important; making sure that no wage disparity exists." Aug. 7, 2007 Bill Richardson
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated in an Oct. 23, 2007 press release titled "Romney Agenda: A New Vision to Open Markets and Help US Workers to Succeed" on his official candidate website:
"The Doha Round and free trade agreements can be huge opportunities for America if we ensure no unilateral disarmament on agriculture and demand that they provide strong benefits for US farmers and goods and services producers...
We need bold ideas to address the new global economy. Starting with a core of US free trade agreement partners, Governor Romney would seek to bring together nations committed to open markets and playing by the rules in the largest ever Free Trade Area, and go beyond traditional trade to promote high standards in areas critical to US competitiveness. The Reagan Zone Of Economic Freedom would act as an alliance working together internally, in the World Trade organization and elsewhere to push reforms and work cooperatively in areas like labor and the environment. Governor Romney would seek to expand these efforts to include the European Union and other nations that agree to meet these standards, while challenging China and others advancing agreements that exclude America." Oct. 23, 2007 Mitt Romney