State of Georgia Archives: on Free Trade

Amanda Swafford: We need more transparency regarding trade agreements

Do you know what the P4 Trade agreement is? The Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement works to protect the biggest and wealthiest companies while setting up protectionism barriers that exclude smaller innovative ideas and processes from entering certain markets. Expansion of the agreement by the United States has been one of the least transparent expansions in recent history. Members of Congress who are authorized to decide trade issues are not being provided details on the substance of the negotiations despite calls for the trade documents to be released to them as early as 2012. We need more transparency regarding trade agreements with multiple partners and in all our foreign transactions.
Source: 2014 Georgia Senate campaign website, Sep 30, 2014

Brian Kemp: Supports tariffs on China as part of trade negotiations

Economy: Support Trump's imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?

Abrams: No. They are "a terrible idea" & have triggered major concerns in many sectors of the Georgia economy.

Kemp: "Supports whatever decision the president makes on

Source: 2018 Issue Guide on Georgia Governor race Nov 1, 2018

Brian Kemp: Travelled to South Korea to expand trade with Georgia

[On Korea visit]: "Meet Georgia, the Peach State" was the headline under the governor's photo wrapping Korea JoongAng Daily. The media buy, which includes a sponsored story calling Mr. Kemp a "visionary leader" and showcasing his interaction in Georgia with new investor SK Innovation, is emblematic of the splash the state hopes to make during the gubernatorial visit to its "hottest market."
Source: Global Atlanta on 2022 Georgia Gubernatorial race Jun 25, 2019

David Perdue: My company exported American-made products into Asia

[Rep. Phil Gingrey asked Perdue]: "Most recently you and your cousin create an import-export business called Perdue Partners, which just happened to be created after your cousin--the former governor--appointed you to the Georgia Ports Authority. That sounds like a conflict of interest to me."

Perdue's response: "I'm insulted personally about Perdue Partners. I'm one of three partners there. We export American-made products into Asia. I know full well the difficulties of dealing with this federal government. And that's why I want to go to Washington and try to bring some common sense and create a level playing field so we can get our manufacturers to competing again around the world."

In response to the now-familiar attack on Perdue by Rep. Jack Kingston for being on a board of a company that took stimulus money, Perdue pulled out a new jab: Kingston requested stimulus money for Georgia after voting against the stimulus law.

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 2014 Georgia Senate race May 17, 2014

David Perdue: Supports USMCA trade agreement to replace NAFTA

The USMCA is a new trade pact among the US, Mexico and Canada, intended as a stronger and modernized replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA): "President Trump is keeping his promise to achieve better trade deals for America. Our economy has changed significantly since NAFTA was signed 24 years ago. It is encouraging that the Trump Administration succeeded in bringing both Mexico and Canada to the negotiating table."

Source: White House press release in 2020 Georgia Senate race Oct 2, 2018

David Perdue: Reluctantly came to support Trump steel, aluminum tariffs

Some of his only public criticism of the president revolved around the issue of tariffs. Perdue was reluctant to support Trump's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum but eventually came to do so.
Source: Fox News on 2020 Georgia Senate race Nov 3, 2020

David Perdue: Aggressively imported cheap Chinese products as CEO

In the pivotal Senate race between Perdue and challenger Jon Ossoff, the candidates have traded accusations around financial connections to China. But previously unreported business disclosures show that Perdue, during a touchstone period of his business career, expanded aggressively into China to import cheap products into the United States. Perdue served as the chief executive of Dollar General from 2003 through 2007.
Source: The Intercept on 2020 Georgia Senate race Oct 27, 2020

Jim Barksdale: Rewrite trade deals to give US workers a level playing field

On issue after issue, from the pharmaceutical giveaways, bailouts to bad actors on Wall Street, bad foreign trade deals that harm wages and job opportunities in Georgia and across America, to the Washington crowd's inability to pass comprehensive immigration reform, our elected leaders in Washington are doing the bidding of the special interests and their lobbyists rather than listening to people.
Source: 2016 Georgia Senate campaign website Aug 8, 2016

Jon Ossoff: Empower our community's businesses to compete globally

Jon has a Master's degree from the London School of Economics, where he specialized in trade relations between the US and China. Jon's training in economics and his international business experience will help him craft smart, effective economic policy that empowers our community's businesses to compete globally, create good-paying jobs with benefits, and build Georgia into an economic powerhouse.
Source: 2017 Georgia House campaign website, Apr 21, 2017

Jon Ossoff: Attack unfair practices by overseas competitors

I'll expose and attack unfair and unethical trade, labor, and environmental practices by overseas competitors that disadvantage American workers and businesses. I'll work to reduce our dependence on Chinese supply chains and strengthen domestic producers. I'll support strong antitrust enforcement and I'll attack anti-competitive special interest subsidies secured by dominant firms with lobbying power at the expense of smaller competitors and startups.
Source: 2020 Georgia Senate campaign website Jul 2, 2020

Kelly Loeffler: Hopes trade war challenges can be resolved soon

She said she believes farmers know legislators are trying to improve economic opportunities for their industry and believes they see the long-term view, even if the short-term is marred in a trade war with China. "Look, I think trade has to be fair and I think farmers innately understand that, and they're willing to take the longer view certainly," Loeffler said. "And they have, but I also would take the side that the sooner we can resolve some of the challenges, the better."
Source: Tifton Gazette on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Jan 1, 2020

Kelly Loeffler: Co-sponsored the BEAT CHINA Act on medical manufacturing

Three senators introduced legislation aimed at increasing American manufacturing to help limit the nation's dependence on China. Loeffler, Joni Ernst, and Ted Cruz introduced the "Bring Entrepreneurial Advancements to Consumers Here In North America--or the "Beat China Act--to "incentivize pharmaceutical and medical device and supply manufacturers to relocate to the United States." It would alter the tax code to provide incentives to businesses willing to relocate production to the U.S.
Source: Fox News on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Jun 12, 2020

Michelle Nunn: Moving jobs to China & Mexico helps profits but not people

Nunn's campaign is going on the attack for the first time in her Senate campaign, blasting businessman David Perdue's (R) corporate record: "Michelle Nunn, CEO of the world's largest volunteer organization. But David Perdue says he's more qualified because he's been working in the 'real world.' Oh, really?" the ad's narrator says. "In Texas, Perdue's company moved production to Mexico. He was CEO of another company that went bankrupt, thousands lost jobs, but Perdue made millions. And in Georgia, Perdue's company closed plants and moved jobs to China. David Perdue: His world doesn't include you."

Perdue's campaign fired back: "The true Michelle Nunn is starting to show. Instead of debating the issues that matter to Georgians, she is recycling old attacks against David that have already been dismissed. We expected no less from the hand-picked candidate of Barack Obama and Harry Reid," said Perdue's campaign manager.

Source: The Hill weblog AdWatch on 2014 Georgia Senate race Aug 12, 2014

Michelle Nunn: Trade impacting international cooperation on other issues

Rising trade tensions are threatening to undermine collaboration needed to tackle big problems like poverty on a global scale, Nunn said at the World Trade Day conference in Atlanta. "In many ways we are seeing threats of an inward-looking and nationalistic sensibility, an insularity that threatens some of our capacity as a globe to solve complicated and globally meaningful problems, but also to stand in solidarity with one another to advance our capacity to make progress," she said.
Source: Global Atlanta on 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate race Aug 25, 2014

Shane Hazel: Remove barriers to international trade

Q: Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?

A: Yes. Free people do not ask permission to trade with others. Nor do they pay for that right.

Source: 2020 PVS Political Courage Test on 2020 Georgia Senate race Sep 1, 2020

Sonny Perdue: Make Atlanta hub for Central America FTAA trade

Governor Sonny Perdue welcomed ambassadors and other senior government officials from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. The purpose of their visit was to discuss trade relations between Georgia and Central America.

"During your visit, you will see that Atlanta is an important and growing hub for international trade. We've developed strong business ties with our neighbors in the Americas. We want to keep strengthening those relationships," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "I understand the importance of this region to Georgia's future. Central America is one of the fastest growing markets for the U.S., and especially for Georgia."

During his remarks, Governor Perdue also asked the visiting officials for their support to locate the headquarters of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in Atlanta.

Source: Georgia voting records: press release on ambassadorial visit Mar 21, 2005

Sonny Perdue: Rework NAFTA for dairy and poultry tariffs in Canada

On January 8, 2018, while speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation, Perdue urged Canada to complete an update to NAFTA. He said, "To get a deal we need all sides to seriously roll up our sleeves and get to work. We have put a number of proposals on the table to modernize NAFTA, and critically for agriculture, to address key sectors left out of the original agreement--dairy and poultry tariffs in Canada. Now we want to see our negotiating partners step up and engage so we can get the deal done."[
Source: article on Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue Jan 8, 2018

Stacey Abrams: Tariffs on Chinese steel are a terrible idea

Economy: Support Trump's imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel & other products?

Abrams: No. They are "a terrible idea" & have triggered major concerns in many sectors of the Georgia economy.

Kemp: "Supports whatever decision the president makes on

Source: 2018 Issue Guide on Georgia Governor race Nov 1, 2018

Stacey Abrams: Trade policy should not be based on brinksmanship

I think the responsibility of foreign policy leaders is to remind domestic communities that it matters how people operate abroad because it increases our national security if they're not angry with us. It increases our national security if we are making smart policies about access to weapons but also access to medicines. It's connecting the dots so that people recognize that we are part of a global community, and that we are safer and stronger and more effective when we have foreign allies.

The only solution will be to engage in trade policy and a trade engagement that is not based on brinksmanship, which is what we've seen play out for the last few years. For many states, our agricultural sector is the number-one industry. When you cut off those who are exporting our goods, you are hurting our farmers at home. They cannot afford it. And we are undermining our national security by undermining our economic security.

Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2022 Georgia Governor race May 10, 2019

Teresa Tomlinson: Reject policies that put our farmers at disadvantage

I will work with our farmers and the broader agriculture community to reject trade policies that put our farmers and the agriculture industry at an economic disadvantage; and to reform the H2-A guest worker program to ensure farmers have access to a skilled and reliable workforce and propose a market-based visa program.
Source: 2020 Georgia Senate campaign website, Jan 12, 2020

Valencia Stovall: Remove tariffs and quotas, but focus on fair trade

Q: Do you generally support removing barriers to international trade (for example: tariffs, quotas, etc.)?

A: Yes. There must be better fair trade deals with nations which share common goals with the US. I support favorable changes to EB-5 program. By removing barriers, US businesses are able to import products which can't be produced and export products which are needed in other countries.

Source: 2019-20 Georgia 2-year Senate PVS Political Courage Test Oct 10, 2020

Zell Miller: The key to economic success is new markets & competition

We've learned that to survive in your own domestic market, you have to be able to compete with imports from all over the world. As long as you have to be internationally competitive to succeed, you might as well take advantage of the opportunities on the international market. Last year our exports totaled more than $10 billion. We can make new contacts in emerging markets. To do that, we are going to increase our trade representatives around the world.
Source: Governor's Economic Development Conference, Georgia May 17, 1995

  • The above quotations are from State of Georgia Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Free Trade.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Free Trade:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 18, 2023