Tim Kaine on Free Trade

Democratic Senate Challenger; previously Governor


Global trade is a reality; need more good trade deals

[On free trade, Kaine says], "But the fact remains--Virginia is a global gateway, and that status is important to me as Congress debates whether to give the president the tools to negotiate more trade deals to cement American leadership in a global economy. Global trade is a reality. The question is whether the U.S. wants to write the rules for trade or suffer under rules written by others." (Sen. Tim Kaine, "Kaine: Virginia Is A Global Gateway,"˙Richmond Times-Dispatch, 5/18/15)
Source: 2016 Veepstakes: DailyKos, "Free Trade and Tim Kaine" , Apr 26, 2016

Pass TPP and create true free trade for U.S.

Kaine joined a bipartisan group of 11 senators to write a letter to the TPP negotiators on Jan. 15, 2014: "We are concerned about Canada's program that severely limits US chicken exports. Despite ratification of NAFTA, Canada has continued to impose restrictions on imports of US chicken products. We urge you to work to address this long-standing, unjustified issue during the TPP negotiations, and to fully engage the other eleven participating countries to create true free trade for U.S. poultry."
Source: 2016 Veepstakes: DailyKos, "Free Trade and Tim Kaine" , Apr 26, 2016

Unfair Chinese trade practices are hurting American workers

[Kaine and Sen. Mark Warner wrote in a joint press release]: Various international organizations, including the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, state as a principle foundation of trade that competition must be fair and rules should be enforced. We play by the rules. It's only right to ask our counterparts to do the same. "Made in China" labels have become prominent in the goods we buy in this country. China is the US's second largest trading partner after Canada and our geopolitical strategy for the future includes an increased focus on the Asia-Pacific region. In other words--China's not going anywhere. Now more than ever we need to put in place and enforce a set of rules to ensure that our ability to compete isn't diminished down the line.

When fairer trade conditions are restored, and US producers are on a level playing field, we can out-compete anyone. China shouldn't be allowed to play by its own rules.

Source: Kaine Senate office Commonwealth Connection , Jul 10, 2015

Ex-Im Bank funding is not unnecessary corporate welfare

It used to be one of the most obscure federal agencies around, but these days, the Export-Import Bank of the United States is a bit of a political flashpoint: a job-generator from one point of view, a piece unnecessary corporate welfare from the other. Kaine told the Senators [about] the nearly 100 in Virginia that the Ex-Im Bank (as its friends call it) supported since 2007.

That support is in the form of loan guarantees and insurance so they could finance about $1 billion a year in exports from the state. Mind you, that's not money the bank shells out. It's just Ex-Im saying it will guarantee payment if the exporter or its bank get stiffed. Less than 0.3% of the sums Ex-Im Bank guarantees and insures is ever actually paid out. Ex-Im Bank funds its operations from the fees it charges customers, and has in fact raised $2 billion more than it has paid out.

Source: Kaine's Senate office news release, "Ex-Im Bank" , Jul 24, 2014

NAFTA allowed the US to export more products to Mexico

Marking the twentieth anniversary of NAFTA, Kaine spoke to the singular nature of the US-Mexico trade relationship. One aspect of what makes trade with Mexico unusual is that imports from Mexico contain 40 percent of content from the US, compared to 4 percent in the case of China. This creates manufacturing jobs and has a sizable economic impact, representing a true synergistic relationship. Kaine went on to state that the trade agreement was successful in shifting the US trade relationship away from the East-West axis. Prior to NAFTA, trade was viewed in the context of the Cold War and the Soviet Union. The "pivot to Asia" has also illustrated this changing trend. However, NAFTA demonstrated that the North-South axis could also be relevant for the United States in terms of trade.
Source: Americas Society Council of the Americas, "Mexico's Moment" , May 7, 2014

Engage with people from other countries in global commerce

One in ten Virginians was born outside of the United States, and most of us can trace our ancestors back to another country in only a few generations. Did you know that, in 2007, foreign companies announced over $750 million of investments in Virginia, creating over 2000 new jobs? Many of these jobs were created in parts of our Commonwealth that are hungry for economic development. We are in fierce competition for those jobs, and we cannot afford to give the world the impression that Virginians are not willing to engage with people from other countries in global commerce.

And it's not just about new business opportunities or foreign investment in our communities. Many long-time Virginia businesses, especially in the agricultural sector that still represents the largest part of our economy, are dependent on immigrant workers. We should not punish law-abiding businesses or hinder their ability to grow and create jobs.

Source: 2008 State of the State address to Virginia Assembly , Jan 9, 2008

Virginia began as an experiment in global trade

Coming to Jamestown reminds us that Virginia began as an experiment in global trade. Since the Virginia Companie was chartered to find economic opportunities in the New World, our story has been one of entrepreneurship and job growth.

In the past year, we have made exciting job announcements in virtually every community in the Commonwealth. We've announced over $1 billion in investment and 5000 new jobs with good wages and benefits throughout Virginia--jobs created and filled using tools like the Governor's Opportunity Fund, Enterprise Zone Grants, workforce investments, and tobacco settlement funds.

We can bring more good jobs into Virginia and bolster our reputation for innovation. Together, we can bring a global research leader, SRI International, to the Shenandoah Valley. The partnership between SRI and James Madison University, initially focusing on cutting-edge pharmaceutical research, will create great jobs and complement our growing expertise in biomedical research.

Source: 2007 State of the State address to Virginia Assembly , Jan 10, 2007

Sponsored sugar quotas & import tariffs to stabilize prices.

Kaine co-sponsored Sugar Reform Act

Congressional Summary:Sugar Reform Act:

Proponent's argument for bill:(Senators' opinions reported on politico.com) "We subsidize a handful of wealthy sugar growers at the expense of everybody in America," said Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.), whose home state boasts the chocolate giant, Hershey's. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), warned her colleagues against unraveling the commodity coalition behind the farm bill: "We forget that this is much bigger than a sugar program. It's much bigger than any one single commodity. When you single out one commodity, you threaten the effectiveness of the overall farm bill."

Opponent's argument against bill:(Food and Business News, May 2013): Users claim the sugar program nearly doubles the price of sugar to US consumers and has resulted in lost jobs as some candy manufacturers have moved operations to other countries. Producers claim the program has resulted in more stable sugar supplies, provides a safety net for growers and that world prices are often lower because of subsidies in origin countries, which would put US growers at a disadvantage should import restrictions be lifted. Producers also note that US sugar prices have declined more than 50% from late 2011 highs. They also maintain that jobs have been lost or moved out of the US for reasons other than sugar prices, mainly labor and health care costs, noting that candy makers' profits have been strong in recent years.

Source: S.345/ H.R.693 13-S345 on Feb 14, 2013

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Page last updated: Nov 06, 2016