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Jeff Merkley on Free Trade

Democratic Jr Senator (OR)


Oppose trade agreements that use NAFTA as a model

Jeff opposes the Peru Free Trade Agreement, and other trade agreements that use NAFTA as a model for those very reasons. Imagine for a moment just what would happen if any state in this country suddenly threw out all labor standards --the minimum wage, the right to organize workers, the 40-hour work week. And imagine what would happen if the EPA allowed them to ignore all environmental laws--if they could dump waste anywhere they wanted, if they could pollute the air with greenhouse gasses at unchecked levels. Every factory owner in the country would move their operations there, leaving workers in the rest of the states without a good paying job and without a way to provide for their families. In our global economy, moving jobs off shore is just as easy as moving them to another state. We can’t let that happen.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.jeffmerkley.com, “Issues” , Jun 3, 2008

Cancel or fix unfair trade deals

Gordon Smith has failed to oppose every single one of these bad trade deals, including NAFTA and CAFTA. Jeff Merkley will fight to end unfair trade agreements that have cost Oregon nearly 70,000 jobs. Merkley will demand enforceable environmental and labor standards to protect our planet and protect workers in America and around the world.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.jeffmerkley.com, “Issues” , Jun 3, 2008

End federal giveaways to companies that ship jobs overseas

Merkley will end loopholes that subsidize corporations that build foreign operations and let companies avoid paying taxes on the profits from those operations, shipping American jobs overseas. In 2004, Gordon Smith voted against an amendment for tax credits that would have encouraged domestic job growth and discouraged outsourcing of good American manufacturing jobs.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.jeffmerkley.com, “Issues” , Jun 3, 2008

Strengthen the Buy American Act

Over the last several decades special interests have weakened important safeguards that protect our national security and support American workers. In 2003, Gordon Smith cast the deciding vote for McCain’s amendment to encourage outsourcing by exempting the Department of Defense from the Buy American Act. Merkley will work to strengthen the Buy American Act to ensure that our government is building an American workforce that can fulfill our country’s military and national security needs.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.jeffmerkley.com, “Issues” , Jun 3, 2008

Oppose giving the President fast track trade authority

We absolutely MUST resist any attempt to give this and future Presidents fast track trade authority without Congressional oversight.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.jeffmerkley.com, “Issues” , Jun 3, 2008

Include real & enforceable labor & environmental standards

In our global economy, moving jobs off shore is just as easy as moving them to another state. We can’t let that happen. America must ensure that new trade agreements include real and enforceable labor and environmental standards. Sadly, President Bush Gordon Smith and too many others in Congress have shown little regard for making sure American workers are on a level playing field with their international competitors. Read more.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.jeffmerkley.com, “Issues” , Mar 2, 2008

Review free trade agreements biennially for rights violation.

Merkley signed H.R.3012

    Trade Reform, Accountability, Development, and Employment Act or the TRADE Act:
  1. review biennially certain free trade agreements (including Uruguay Round Agreements) between the US and foreign countries to evaluate their economic, environmental, national security, health, safety, and other effects; and
  2. report on them to the Congressional Trade Agreement Review Committee (established by this Act), including analyses of specified aspects of each agreement and certain information about agreement parties, such as whether the country has a democratic form of government, respects certain core labor rights and fundamental human rights, protects intellectual property rights, and enforces environmental laws.
    Declares that implementing bills of new trade agreements shall not be subject to expedited consideration or special procedures limiting amendment, unless such agreements include certain standards with respect to:
  1. labor;
  2. human rights;
  3. environment and public safety;
  4. food and product health and safety;
  5. provision of services;
  6. investment;
  7. procurement;
  8. intellectual property;
  9. agriculture;
  10. trade remedies and safeguards;
  11. dispute resolution and enforcement;
  12. technical assistance;
  13. national security; and
  14. taxation.
Requires the President to submit to Congress a plan for the renegotiation of existing trade agreements to bring them into compliance with such standards. Expresses the sense of Congress that certain processes for U.S. trade negotiations should be followed when Congress considers legislation providing special procedures for implementing bills of trade agreements.
Source: TRADE Act 09-HR3012 on Jun 24, 2009

Other candidates on Free Trade: Jeff Merkley on other issues:
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John Kitzhaber
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Monica Wehby
Ron Wyden

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Page last updated: Aug 07, 2014