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John Ashcroft on Free Trade

Former Attorney General; Former Republican Senator (MO)


Fair trade: partner with friends, challenge rivals

The global economy is shrinking the world as it expands opportunities for people. America can neither retreat from this reality, nor assume that foreign nations have our best interests at heart. They do not. We need a trade policy that is based on free and open markets. We also need a trade policy that is fair. Ronald Reaganís foreign policy mantra embraced the idea of reciprocity: reward your friends, and challenge your enemies. We should adapt President Reaganís foreign policy to trade: partner with friends, challenge rivals. For our friends, we should pursue a policy of aggressive free trade. We should look to lower tariffs with nations who are willing to lower their tariffs. For our rivals, those who wish to flood our shores with their products while closing off their own markets, we must challenge their protectionist policies. We must drive hard bargains with nations in bilateral trade negotiations, recognizing that we possess substantial leverage in the form of access to our markets.
Source: Lincoln Institute Journal (Fall 1998) , Oct 9, 1998

Voted YES on permanent normal trade relations with China.

Vote to give permanent Normal Trade Relations [NTR] status to China. Currently, NTR status for China is debated and voted on annually.
Reference: Bill HR.4444 ; vote number 2000-251 on Sep 19, 2000

Voted YES on expanding trade to the third world.

Vote to expand trade with more than 70 countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. The countries would be required to meet certain eligibility requirements in protecting freedoms of expression and associatio
Reference: Bill HR.434 ; vote number 2000-98 on May 11, 2000

Voted YES on renewing 'fast track' presidential trade authority.

Vote to proceed to the bill which establishes negotiating objectives for trade agreements, and renews 'fast track' trade authority for the President, which allows Congress to adopt or to reject a proposed trade agreement, but not to amend it.
Reference: Bill S 1269 ; vote number 1997-294 on Nov 5, 1997

Voted YES on imposing trade sanctions on Japan for closed market.

Resolution supporting sanctions on Japanese products if car parts markets don't open up; and seeking sharp reductions in the trade imbalances in car sales and parts through elimination of restrictive Japanese market-closing practices.
Reference: Bill S Res 118 ; vote number 1995-158 on May 9, 1995

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Page last updated: Jul 12, 2013