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Fred Thompson on Free Trade

Former Republican Senator (TN)


Market does more for freedom & prosperity than planners

Global competition and a growing economic disparity among our citizens are challenges. But how we react to them is more important than the challenges themselves. Some want us to withdraw from the world that presents us with so many problems, in the hope they will go away. Some would push us towards protectionist trade policies. Others see a solution in raising taxes and redistributing the income among our citizens.

Wrong on all counts. These are defensive, defeatist policies that have consistently been proven wrong. They are not what America is all about.

We're not afraid of globalization. It works to our benefit. We innovate more and invest in that innovation better than anywhere else in the world. Same thing goes for services. Free trade and market economies have done more for freedom and prosperity than a central planner could ever dream and we're the world's best example of that. So, why do we want to take investment dollars out of growth, and invest it in government?

Source: The Fred Factor, by Steve Gill, p.170 Jun 3, 2007

Protectionist trade policies are defensive & defeatist

How we react to challenges is more important than the challenges themselves. Some want us, to the extent possible, to withdraw from the world that presents us with so many problems, in the hope they will go away. Some would push us towards protectionist trade policies. Others see a solution in raising taxes and redistributing the income among our citizens.

Wrong on all counts. These are defensive, defeatist policies that have consistently been proven wrong. They are not what America is all about.

Source: Speech to Lincoln Club Annual Dinner, Orange County CA May 4, 2007

Markets do more for freedom than any central planner

On globalization -- we're not afraid of it. It works to our benefit. We innovate more and invest in that innovation better than anywhere else in the world. Same thing goes for services, which are increasingly driving our economy. Free trade and market economies have done more for freedom and prosperity than a central planner could ever dream and we're the world's best example of that. So, why do we want to take investment dollars out of growth, and invest it in government?
Source: Speech to Lincoln Club Annual Dinner, Orange County CA May 4, 2007

Protectionist trade policies are defensive & defeatist

Securing our nation's borders is secondarily an immigration issue. It's primarily a national security issue. We were told twenty years ago if we produced a comprehensive solution, we'd solve the illegal immigration problem. Twelve million illegals later, we're being told that same thing again. I don't believe most Americans are as concerned about the 12 million that are here as they are about the next 12 million after that. Prove you can secure the border and then sit down and work out the rest of it.
Source: Speech to Lincoln Club Annual Dinner, Orange County CA May 4, 2007

Voted YES on extending free trade to Andean nations.

HR3009 Fast Track Trade Authority bill: To extend the Andean Trade Preference Act, to grant additional trade benefits under that Act, and for other purposes. Vote to pass a bill that would enlarge duty-free status to particular products from Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, renew the president's fast-track authority and reauthorize and increase a program to make accessible retraining and relocation assistance to U.S. workers hurt by trade agreements. It would also approve a five-year extension of Generalized System of Preferences and produce a refundable 70 percent tax credit for health insurance costs for displaced workers.
Reference: Bill HR.3009 ; vote number 2002-130 on May 23, 2002

Voted YES on granting normal trade relations status to Vietnam.

Vote to grant annual normal trade relations status to Vietnam. The resolution would allow Vietnamese imports to receive the same tariffs as those of other U.S. trading partners.
Reference: Bill HJRES51 ; vote number 2001-291 on Oct 3, 2001

Voted NO on removing common goods from national security export rules.

Vote to provide the president the authority to control the export of sensitive dual-use items for national security purposes. The bill would eliminate restrictions on the export of technology that is readily available in foreign markets.
Reference: Bill S149 ; vote number 2001-275 on Sep 6, 2001

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

Other candidates on Free Trade: Fred Thompson on other issues:
TN Gubernatorial:
Phil Bredesen
TN Senatorial:
Bill Frist
Bo Heyward
Bob Corker
Chris Lugo
Ed Bryant
Harold Ford
Lamar Alexander
Van Hilleary

2004 Presidential:
Pres.George W. Bush
Sen.John Kerry
Ralph Nader

2008 possibilities:

Sen.Hillary Clinton
Sen.John Edwards
Sen.Russ Feingold
Rudy Giuliani
V.P.Al Gore
Sen.Barack Obama
Sen.John McCain


2006 Senate retirements:
Jon Corzine(D,NJ)
Mark Dayton(DFL,MN)
Bill Frist(R,TN)
Jim Jeffords(I,VT)
Paul Sarbanes(D,MD)
2006 Senate Races:
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(CA)Feinstein v.Mountjoy
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