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Michael Badnarik on Free Trade

Libertarian Party nominee for President


WTO fosters managed trade, not free trade

Although free trade is a blessing, managed bureaucratic trade is not. It is a dangerous misconception to think of the World Trade Organization, the IMF, and other international quasi- governmental structures as free trade organizations. They rely on thousands of pages of confusing regulations & corrupt agreements between multinational corporations and oppressive governments. True free trade-the kind that fosters peace-does not depend on such organizations and rules, but is actually hindered by them. Managed trade-the kind that fosters resentment and poverty-is all that these organizations have so far delivered.

The managed trade that we see today, where politically connected corporations and favored nations get special deals, is anything but free it is mercantilism, the same economic system that Adam Smith railed against in The Wealth of Nations, when he saw the inefficiency and aggression of imperial governments endowing special privileges to state-sponsored cartels.

Source: League of Women Voters D-Net issue grid statement Aug 15, 2004

Import tariffs make American consumers suffer

Libertarians want to see free trade between individuals, where people become less dependent upon their governments and the WTO and IMF, where instead they become connected in peaceful commerce. Managed trade is typified by President Bush's enormous steel tariff, and, more recently, with the obscenely high 198% tariff on Chinese furniture. Such policies hurt foreign workers and American consumers. They may help domestic industries in the short run, but they encourage irresponsible and inefficient business practices at home. The world economy and American prosperity suffer. Republicans and Democrats say such practices are necessary to prevent "outsourcing," but the reason business leaves the country is that government regulations make it prohibitively expensive for all but the richest companies to compete in America. Another layer of government regulations is not the answer. Indeed, high tariffs in the 1920s helped bring about the Great Depression.
Source: League of Women Voters D-Net issue grid statement Aug 15, 2004

End all trade restrictions-that's real free trade

Q: What are your thoughts on corporate globalism and free-trade agreements?

A: I support real free trade. The thousands of pages of rules, regulations, and exceptions in NAFTA, GATT and other 'free trade' treaties aren't free trade. I propose an end to trade restrictions. Period. My free trade treaty won't even fill a page. When we talk about corporate globalism, we're talking about two different things: trade across borders-which I support-and a web of subsidies and barriers, which I oppose.

Source: Interview in the Augusta Free Press Aug 13, 2004

Peace and free trade are mutually dependent

The twin tenets of peace and free trade are mutually dependent. As French visionary Frederic Bastiat once said, "If goods don't cross borders, soldiers will." When countries rely upon each other in peaceful commerce, the people of those countries have every incentive to avoid violent conflict.
Source: Campaign website, badnarik.org, "Issues" Jul 13, 2004

Opposes NAFTA, GATT, and WTO

Source: 2004 Presidential National Political Awareness Test Jul 11, 2004

Other candidates on Free Trade: Michael Badnarik on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
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Free Trade
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Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts