Democratic Party on Free Trade

Party Platform


Pursue a trade policy that puts workers first

Democrats will pursue a trade policy that puts workers first. We will negotiate strong and enforceable standards for labor, human rights, and the environment in the core text of our trade deals. Future trade agreements should build on the pro-labor provisions added to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by Democratic members of Congress. If companies shut down their operations here and outsource jobs, we'll claw back any public investments or benefits they received from taxpayers.
Source: Democratic Party Platform adopted at 2020 Convention , Jul 27, 2020

Work with allies to stand up to China

Democrats believe that if the United States does not work with its allies and partners to shape the terms of global trade, China will shape them for us--and American working families and the middle class will pay the price. That's why we will work with our allies to mobilize more than half the world's economy to stand up to China and negotiate from the strongest possible position.
Source: Democratic Party Platform adopted at 2020 Convention , Jul 27, 2020

Double our exports by 2015 with new trade agreements

Over the last four years, we have made historic progress toward the goal of doubling our exports by 2015. We have taken steps to open new markets to American products, while ensuring that other countries play by the same rules. President Obama signed into law new trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama that will support tens of thousands of private-sector jobs, but not before he strengthened these agreements on behalf of American workers and businesses. We remain committed to finding more markets for American-made goods--including using the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the United States and eight countries in the Asia-Pacific, one of the most dynamic regions in the world--while ensuring that workers' rights and environmental standards are upheld, and fighting against unfair trade practices. We expanded and reformed assistance for trade-affected workers, and we demanded renewal of that help alongside new trade agreements.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform , Sep 4, 2012

Knock down barriers to free, fair and balanced trade

Exports sustain about 1 in 5 American factory jobs. Open markets spur innovation, speed the growth of new industries, and make our businesses more competitive. We will make it a priority to knock down barriers to free, fair and balanced trade so other nation’s markets are as open as our own. We will stand up for American workers & consumers by building on Pres. Clinton’s progress in including enforceable, internationally recognized labor & environmental standards in trade agreements.

We will build on and strengthen the progress made in the Jordan agreement to include strong and enforceable labor & environmental standards in the core of new free trade agreements. And no trade agreement should stop government from protecting the environment, food safety or the health of its citizens. Nor should an agreement give greater rights to foreign investors than to US investors, require the privatization of our vital public services, or limit our government’s ability to create good jobs in our communities.

Source: The Democratic Platform for America, p.20-21 , Jul 10, 2004

Review all trade agreements; investigate China rights abuses

We will aggressively enforce our trade agreements with a real plan that includes a complete review of all existing agreements; immediate investigation into China’s workers’ rights abuses and currency manipulation; increased funding for efforts to protect workers’ rights and stop child labor abuse; new reforms to protect the innovations of high-tech companies; and vigorous enforcement of U.S. trade laws. We will use all the tools we have to create new opportunities for American workers, farmers, and businesses, and break down barriers in key export markets, like the Japanese auto market and the Chinese high-technology market. We will effectively enforce our trade laws protecting against dumping, illegal subsidies, and import surges that threaten American jobs. New trade agreements must protect internationally recognized workers’ rights and environmental standards as vigorously as they now protect commercial concerns.
Source: The Democratic Platform for America, p.20-21 , Jul 10, 2004

Free trade with safeguards will benefit all

We need to make the global economy work for all. That means making sure that all trade agreements contain provisions that will protect the environment and labor standards, as well as open markets in other countries. We will insist on worker rights, human rights, and environmental protections in those agreements. Al Gore will challenge American companies to ensure labor protections and worker safety at their overseas operations.
Source: 2000 Democratic National Platform as adopted by the DNC , Aug 15, 2000

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Page last updated: Feb 24, 2022