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Pat Buchanan on Free Trade

2000 Reform Candidate for President


19th-century free trade did not work out well for Britain

Starting in the 1980s and accelerating with NAFTA & GATT, the US set out to meld its economy with those of Europe and Japan and create a global economy. We decided to create the interdependent world envisioned by 19th-century dreamers.

That experiment did not work out well for the free-trade British in the nineteenth century, who were shouldered aside in the struggle for world primacy by America. But our generation would make it work for the world.

What happened was predictable and was, in fact, predicted. With the abolition of tariffs, and with US guarantees that goods made in foreign countries would enter American free of charge, manufacturers began to shut plants here and more production abroad to countries where US wage-and-hour laws and health & environmental regulations did not apply, countries where there were no unions and workers' wages were below the US minimum wage. Competitors who stayed in America were undercut and run out of business, or forced to join the stampede abroad.

Source: Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan, p. 12-13 , Oct 18, 2011

Detroit was forge & furnace of WWII Arsenal of Democracy

This is our reward for turning our backs on the economic nationalism of the men who made America, and embracing the free-trade ideology of economics and academics who never made anything.

In early 2010 it was reported that Detroit, forge and furnace of the Arsenal of Democracy in World War II, was considering razing a fourth of the city and turning it into pastureland. Did that $1.2 trillion trade deficit we ran in autos and auto parts in the Bush 43 decade help to kill Detroit?

If our purpose in negotiating NAFTA was to assist Mexico, consider this: textile and apparel imports from China are now five times the dollar value of those same imports from Mexico and Canada combined.

Source: Suicide of a Superpower, by Pat Buchanan, p. 17 , Oct 18, 2011

Stopped belief in free trade when US lost manufacturing jobs

Buchanan said he ceased being a believer in the free trade, a traditional Republican position, after he looked at the loss of manufacturing jobs in the last 25 years--nearly 50% in Michigan and New York, for example. "Why do you think there's such rage and anger out there?" he asked, his hands cutting the air in tiny chops. "The median income of the average American worker has gone down 20%." The American worker was being forced to compete with $1-an-hour Mexican labor and 25-cent-an-hour Chinese labor.

Buchanan said that if something was not done, people would be thrown out of work more and more, be forced into lower-wage jobs. "You're risking social stability just so some of these corporations' profits can be dramatically increased, they can move factories anywhere.

"I think I can make that case out there," he declared; "economic nationalism's coming in Europe. It's going to come to the US. It is the future of this country."

Source: The Choice, by Bob Woodward, p.151-152 , Nov 1, 2005

America’s freedom is tied to her economic independence

Alexander Hamilton wrote: ‘Not only the wealth, but the independence and security of a country, appear to be materially connected with the prosperity of manufactures. Every nation...ought to endeavor to posses within itself all the essentials of a national supply. These comprise the means of subsistence, habitation, clothing and defense. ‘ America’s political independence, Hamilton was saying, could not survive without economic independence. “
Source: Where The Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p.153 , Sep 1, 2004

America's Industrial Revolution took place with high tariffs

From the ratification of the Constitution to WWI, this vision guided the nation: All Americans participated in that free market as their birthright, but British merchants, who had held life-and-death power over the colonies, would pay a price of admissio --a tariff.

From 1870 to 1913, the US economy grew more than 4% a year. Industrial production grew at 5%. The Protectionist Era was among the most productive in history. When it began, America was dependent on imports for 8% of its GNP. When it ended, America's dependency had fallen to 4%. The nation began the era with an economy half the size of Britain's & ended it with an economy more than twice as large as Britain's.

Tariffs alone cannot explain the economic success of the era. But high tariffs, nevertheless, went hand in hand with the rise of the most awesome industrial power the world had ever seen. And the Republican Party, which preached protectionism as the key to prosperity, controlled the White House for all but 8 of those years.

Source: Where The Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p.154-156 , Aug 12, 2004

Reduce dependence on trade; support Monroe Doctrine

For Americans, Buchanan’s book says, only America should matter. Buchanan rages against the UN, the WTO, and a previously unknown animal, “the managerial elites of the New World Order.” Allies in South-East Asia and Europe must do their own fighting, and America must cut down its dependence on trade. The single pillar of American foreign policy should be the Monroe Doctrine; the country’s priorities are to guard against “hostile bastions in this hemisphere” and to try yo keep immigrants out.
Source: The Economist, p. 31 , Oct 2, 1999

Match 100% tariffs from Japan & China

Today, we let Japan and China to run up a combined annual trade surplus of $120 billion, blithely allowing them open access to our markets while we pay up to 100% tariffs for entry into theirs. By equalizing tariffs so that imported goods carry the same tax as American-made products, we can end the exploitation of US workers, and fund flatter taxes for families, fairer competition for business, and renewed economic liberty for all Americans.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues” , Jun 5, 1999

Trade deficit is “tumor in intestines of US economy”

Today Buchanan called the massive merchandise trade deficit-over $26 billion for February alone-a “malignant tumor in the intestines of the US economy. Unattended, it will one day kill this country’s tenure as the world’s mightiest industrial power,” Mr. Buchanan said. “A $300 billion annual deficit will strip America of our manufacturing and production base. Manic consumption is a mark of a republic that has passed its apogee, and begun its long descent.”
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Press Release: Trade Deficit” , Apr 21, 1999

We will rue the day we passed NAFTA

Ross Perot and I stood up again against NAFTA. We stood up against GATT. We stood up against the World Trade Organization. We stood up against the $50 billion bailout of Mexico.

People ask, “Pat, why are you against NAFTA?” I said, “There are lots of reasons I’m against NAFTA. You do not force Americans making ten bucks an hour to compete with Mexicans who work for a dollar an hour.”

One year later, Mexico devalued the peso. American trade surplus disappeared. We now have a $15 billion trade deficit with Mexico, which means 300,000 American jobs were lost this year. Illegal immigration is soaring.

We are required to pay $50 billion to the government of Mexico. For whose benefit was that? It was not for the benefit of working Americans. It was for the benefit of investment bankers on Wall Street.

Source: United We Stand America Conference, p.318-19 , Aug 12, 1995


Pat Buchanan on China

Require trade with Beijing to be reciprocal

We must manage trade with Beijing and make it reciprocal. If America is to buy 30 percent of China's exports, Beijing must give preference in its purchases to goods made in the USA. In 2002, China imported $250 billion worth of goods and services, but only $22 billion, or 9 percent, from the United States. The share of China's imports that come from America should begin to rise to match the share of China's exports that go to America.

Should China refuse, we should shift U.S. purchases to Free Asia by imposing a tariff on goods made in China. Should Beijing impose a reciprocal tariff, fine. As we buy forty times as great a share of China's GDP as she buys of ours, there is no doubt who loses that trade war.

Source: Where The Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p.151 , Aug 12, 2004

China's prosperity depends on US trade

China's prosperity depends on us. US consumers are now responsible for 100% of China's growth. Were Chinese goods to be excluded from America, China's factories would shut down, millions would be thrown out of work, foreign investment would dry up, and China's boom would become China's bust.

As America buys 30% of all of China's exports, any confrontation with the United States would be ruinous to China.

Source: Where The Right Went Wrong, by Pat Buchanan, p.147 , Aug 12, 2004

China trade pact is a complete sellout

Buchanan branded the Clinton Administration’s trade deal with China a “complete sellout.” Buchanan said the agreement, reached on Nov. 15, would continue a move toward world government at the expense of American workers. He said the minute he is elected president, “the new world order crashes.”
Source: Boston Globe, p. A6, “Political Briefs” , Nov 17, 1999

Impose tariffs on China; end World Bank loans

Beijing does not deserve the same preferential treatment as Britain. The US should negotiate a reciprocal treaty with China that imposes on its goods at least the same tariffs and taxes Beijing imposes on ours, and we should veto any additional World Bank and Asian Development Bank loans to China. These are nothing but foreign aid.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.377 , Oct 9, 1999

Match 100% tariffs from Japan & China

Today, we let Japan and China to run up a combined annual trade surplus of $120 billion, blithely allowing them open access to our markets while we pay up to 100% tariffs for entry into theirs. By equalizing tariffs so that imported goods carry the same tax as American-made products, we can end the exploitation of US workers, and fund flatter taxes for families, fairer competition for business, and renewed economic liberty for all Americans.
Source: (Cross-ref from Free Trade & Immigration) www.GoPatGo.org/ “ , Jun 14, 1999

China: Shame the regime & end trade concessions

We must neither ignore nor isolate China, but we cannot embrace as a “strategic partner” an expansionist power that perverts our elections, plunders our nuclear arsenal, and targets our cities. China’s ongoing oppression of women, Christians, Tibetans & political dissidents is an affront to American values, but [we appease them] instead of shaming the regime. We have mollified China by allowing Beijing to run up a $274 billion trade surplus, but we still permit the purchase of our latest technology.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: China: Our MFN?” , Jun 12, 1999

China: End MFN; veto WTO entry; block technology

Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: China: Our MFN?” , Jun 12, 1999


Pat Buchanan on Globalization

Gobal Economy betrays working Americans

The elitist architects of GATT and NAFTA have locked arms with their corporate cohorts to support a trade policy that is neither fair nor free. This year we will incur a $300 billion trade deficit. The bulls run wild on Wall Street, corporate profits and CEOs ring up record salaries. But in Middle America, our industrial base is eroding, factories are closing, and manufacturing jobs are moving overseas. America’s working men and women are being sacrificed to the Global Economy.
Source: Buchanan/Foster web site , Aug 6, 2000

Make IMF & World Bank ‘eat’ lost billions

If anyone should be forced to ‘eat’ these incredible losses of foreign aid loans, it is not US taxpayers, but international bankers at the IMF, World Bank, and other globalist institutions who deceived us when they said the loans were good. If heads roll at the IMF and World Bank, and both institutions are docked for the losses for which they are responsible, this would be simple justice; and there will be a far greater likelihood that future lending will be more responsible.“
Source: Press Release , Apr 24, 2000

Smash OPEC: stop putting globalism ahead of patriotism

America needs a leader who will restore America’s economic independence, and map a strategy to smash the price-fixing conspiracy called OPEC once and for all. If Americans are paying $2 a gallon for gas in June, it will be because of the lack of political courage and vision of Clinton and Gore, and their placing of globalism ahead of patriotism.
Source: Press Release , Mar 14, 2000

With Seattle WTO protestors against loss of sovereignty

Q: [Speaking with Buchanan in Seattle] Do you want to be associated with the WTO protestors who rioted in Seattle?
A: No, not at all - they’re thugs and I’m against violence. But I’m protesting the idea of [loss of our] sovereignty and that an international organization is making rules for us. Once we Americans pass a law, it’s OUR law, and none of the WTO’s business.
Source: The Howie Carr Show, WRKO Boston 680 AM , Dec 2, 1999

Trade shouldn’t trump environment, human rights, or security

The WTO elevates trade to the highest good. It is trade uber alles. Trade trumps the environment. Trade trumps human rights. It trumps the security of countries. It trumps the sovereignty of countries. It should never have been created. Americans have had treaties with Russia and Great Britain and Japan throughout 200 years of history. We enforce the treaties, as do our partners in these treaties.
Source: Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer , Dec 1, 1999

“Good for global business” isn’t necessarily good for US

Global capitalists have become acolytes of global governance. They wish to see national sovereignty diminished and sanctions abolished. Where yesterday American businesses suffered damage to their good name for selling scrap iron to Japan before Pearl Harbor, today [war materiel is routinely exported] to potentially hostile nations. Once it was true that what was good the Fortune 500 was good for America. That is no longer true, and what is good for America must take precedence.
Source: “A Republic, Not an Empire,” p.349 , Oct 9, 1999

Globalists are wrong; dumping destroys towns

[Buchanan] opposes free trade and casts himself as the workingman’s champion. “The globalists in Washington... believe that all Americans are riding a wave of Wall Street prosperity,” he told the Independent Steelworkers Union in July. “But I have seen factories close and towns destroyed by illegal steel dumping.”
Source: Jeff Jacoby editorial, Boston Globe , Sep 20, 1999

“Economic Nationalism”: trade only when it helps US

    Rather than making “global free trade” a golden calf which we all bow down to, and worship, all trade deals should be judged by whether:
  1. they maintain US sovereignty;
  2. they protect vital economic interests;
  3. and they ensure a rising standard of living for all our workers.
We must stop sacrificingAmerican jobs on the altars of transnational corporations whose sole loyalty is to the bottom line.
Source: www.iac.net/~davcam/pat_issu.html , Jul 2, 1999

Global Economy erodes US sovereignty

In a Global Economy financial blunders from Mexico to Asia shake US markets. As our independence falters, our sovereignty erodes. In 1994, for the first time, the US joined a global institution, the WTO, where America has no veto power & the one-nation, one-vote rule applies. Global interdependence is a betrayal of our heritage of liberty. As President, I will use the trade laws of this country and the power of my office to protect the independence of our country, and the sovereignty of the US.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: America First Trade Policy” , Jun 11, 1999

“America First”: Tariffs; reciprocal trade; anti-dumping

America’s workers are being sacrificed to the Global Economy, and our leaders seem deaf to their distress.
Source: www.GoPatGo.org/ “Issues: America First Trade Policy” , Jun 11, 1999

NAFTA & GATT sold out America’s workers

The NAFTA-GATT trade deals sold out America’s workers, ravaged our manufacturing base & caused disruption in our small towns & farming communities. Our “trading partners” still impose 40% tariffs on US agricultural goods. Our once mighty steel industry now begs relief from the World Trade Organization for problems that were caused by the Clinton-Gore headlong march into the New World Order. The Clinton-Gore trade policy is a betrayal of America’s workers, and virtual economic treason against the US.
Source: www.gopatgo2000.com/000-c-tradepolicy.html 5/28/99 , May 28, 1999

GATT surrenders our national sovereignty

I oppose GATT [not only on groundsof unfair competition but because] it is the wholesale surrender of America’s national sovereignty to multilateral institutions and global organizations. What were they fighting and dying for [in the American Revolution]? They were fighting and dying so that America would be sovereign-be free-be independent-and retain her liberty from all these world organizations from London and Brussels-from anywhere.
Source: [X-ref War] United We Stand America Conference, p.320 , Aug 12, 1995

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Page last updated: Oct 09, 2013