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Richard Randall on Free Trade


NAFTA and GATT are not free trade

Q: Your views on free trade?

A: Libertarians want to see free trade between individuals, where people become less dependent upon their governments and the WTO and IMF, where instead they become connected in peaceful commerce. Another layer of government regulations is not the answer. Indeed, high tariffs in the 1920s helped bring about the Great Depression.

I support real free trade. The thousands of pages of rules, regulations, and exceptions in NAFTA, GATT and other 'free trade' treaties aren't free trade. I propose an end to trade restrictions. Period. When we talk about corporate globalism, we're talking about two different things: trade across borders-which I support-and a web of subsidies and barriers, which I oppose.

Source: E-mail exchange with OnTheIssues.org Oct 17, 2004

US tariffs and quotas cost Americans $70B annually

Free trade is firmly rooted in the American tradition of free enterprise and limited government. Opponents of free trade are in the position of arguing that government should pick and choose winners and losers among various types of businesses and impose itself between the buyer and seller of various goods and services. The right to engage in voluntary exchange transcends national boundaries.

Trade restrictions on foreign products lower the standard of living for American consumers. Tariffs, quotas, and other trade barriers are the functional equivalent of a tax, artificially raising the cost of foreign goods and increasing the price that consumers must pay. It is estimated that these practices cost American consumers at least $70 billion per year, the equivalent of $752 per US household. Moreover, the structure of trade restrictions imposes a disproportionate burden on those least able to pay. The trade restriction "tax" is a regressive one.

Source: Campaign website, www.lpcocandidates.org/randall/, "Issues" Oct 14, 2004

Abolish all trade barriers and export promotion

US protectionism encourages other countries to raise barriers against US goods. Subsidies, tariffs & quotas serve to give special treatment to special interests. These measures reduce the understanding among different peoples. I support abolition of trad barriers and government-sponsored export-promotion programs, as well as the US International Trade Commission and the US Court of International Trade. Concurrent shall be the complete withdrawal from all trade agreements including GATT, WTO, and NAFTA.
Source: Campaign website, www.lpcocandidates.org/randall/, "Issues" Oct 14, 2004

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