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Charles Boustany on Free Trade

Republican Representative (LA-7)

 


2013: Supported TPP; 2016: too many concessions

The candidate who may have the toughest time navigating anti-TPP sentiment is Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette. An ardent free-trader and considered the Louisiana delegation's foremost authority on trade policy, he has been a leader with the "Friends of the Trans-Pacific Partnership" congressional caucus, which was founded in 2013.

"After reading the text of the finalized agreement, it is abundantly clear the administration failed to meet key congressional objectives as specified in the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act," Boustany said in a statement. "I cannot support the TPP in its current form."

He later clarified that he disagreed with provisions in the deal that allow countries to refuse to give trade concessions to tobacco companies, allow Mexico to buy rice from Vietnam instead of Louisiana, and don't offer intellectual property protections for pharmaceuticals as strong as those in U.S. law.

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune on 2016 Louisiana Senate race , Aug 10, 2016

Yes to Ex-im bank; Yes to fast-track

Source: Ballotpedia.org coverage of 2016 Louisiana Senate race , Jun 12, 2015

Voted YES on promoting free trade with Peru.

Approves the Agreement entered into with the government of Peru. Provides for the Agreement's entry into force upon certain conditions being met on or after January 1, 2008. Prescribes requirements for:

Proponents support voting YES because:

Rep. RANGEL: It's absolutely ridiculous to believe that we can create jobs without trade. I had the opportunity to travel to Peru recently. I saw firsthand how important this agreement is to Peru and how this agreement will strengthen an important ally of ours in that region. Peru is resisting the efforts of Venezuela's authoritarian President Hugo Chavez to wage a war of words and ideas in Latin America against the US. Congress should acknowledge the support of the people of Peru and pass this legislation by a strong margin.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

Rep. WU: I regret that I cannot vote for this bill tonight because it does not put human rights on an equal footing with environmental and labor protections.

Rep. KILDEE: All trade agreements suffer from the same fundamental flaw: They are not self-enforcing. Trade agreements depend upon vigorous enforcement, which requires official complaints be made when violations occur. I have no faith in President Bush to show any enthusiasm to enforce this agreement. Congress should not hand this administration yet another trade agreement because past agreements have been more efficient at exporting jobs than goods and services. I appeal to all Members of Congress to vote NO on this. But I appeal especially to my fellow Democrats not to turn their backs on those American workers who suffer from the export of their jobs. They want a paycheck, not an unemployment check.

Reference: Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act; Bill H.R. 3688 ; vote number 2007-1060 on Nov 8, 2007

Voted NO 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

Rated 75% by the USAE, indicating support for trade engagement.

Boustany scores 75% by USA*Engage on trade issues

Ratings by USA*Engage indicate support for trade engagement or trade sanctions. The organization's self-description: "USA*Engage is concerned about the proliferation of unilateral foreign policy sanctions at the federal, state and local level. Despite the fact that broad trade-based unilateral sanctions rarely achieve our foreign policy goals, they continue to have political appeal. Unilateral sanctions give the impression that the United States is 'doing something,' while American workers, farmers and businesses absorb the costs."

VoteMatch scoring for the USA*Engage ratings is as follows :

Source: USA*Engage 2011-2012 ratings on Congress and politicians 2012-USAE on Dec 31, 2012

2016-17 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Free Trade: Charles Boustany on other issues:
LA Gubernatorial:
Bobby Jindal
LA Senatorial:
Bill Cassidy
David Vitter
Mary Landrieu

Newly-elected Democrats taking office Jan.2017:
AZ-1:O`Halleran(D)
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CA-24:Carbajal(D)
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FL-9:Soto(D)
FL-10:Demings(D)
FL-13:Crist(D)
HI-1:Hanabusa(D)
IL-10:Schneider(D)
IL-8:Krishnamoorthi(D)
MD-4:Brown(D)
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Page last updated: Jan 22, 2017