Steve Forbes on Foreign Policy

2000 Republican Primary Candidate for President


Africa: Unshackle drug companies, not US aid, to fight AIDS

Q: Should we appropriate $300 million out of the surplus to help fight AIDS in Africa? A: Too often foreign aid, not only to Africa but other parts of the world, have just gone to kleptocracies and not helped those it was meant to help. Almost 99% of it has been wasted. In terms of Africa itself, I think it is key that we not shackle our own pharmaceutical industry so that they come up with cures to these and other hideous diseases.
Source: GOP Debate in Michigan , Jan 10, 2000

Russia: Replace IMF loans with 5 rules of prosperity

To help move Russia in the right direction, [we must] make it clear to all parties in the Russian government -- and to the Russian people -- that we want a peaceful and productive relationship with them regardless of who is in power.
    [We can] help the Russians stabilize their economy and get on the road to a healthy, growing, free-market system. More IMF loans are not the answer. Instead, we must advise Russia to follow the five essential principles of economic prosperity:
  1. Create a sound currency. Without a stable ruble, no free-market reforms will succeed.
  2. Low taxes and tariffs. High taxes and tariffs do not create wealth -- they destroy it.
  3. The rule of law, particularly individual equality before the law and property rights.
  4. Minimal bureaucratic interference in the creation and expansion of small businesses.
  5. Trade and business barriers must be removed. Make it easier for people to do business, and more business will be done.
Source: “A New Birth of Freedom,” p. 164-6 , Nov 9, 1999

More funding & broadcast power for Radio Free Asia

We should increase funding for the National Endowment for Democracy, and Radio Free Asia should have more programming and more power to send its signals so people can actually hear the broadcasts. Remember, radio offers a tremendous opportunity to communicate with the Chinese people about business, culture, faith, and international events. It can also offer interviews with Chinese dissidents abut human rights abuses.... The free flow of truth is deadly to dictatorial regimes.
Source: “A New Birth of Freedom,” p. 168 , Nov 9, 1999

European Union is a “misguided global institution.”

Forbes warned that the European single currency and the “Third Way” policies [mixing capitalism & socialism] expounded by British Prime Minister Tony Blair could doom Britain’s prosperity. In remarks at the British Library in London, Forbes asked why Britain would want to give up the pound, which he called one of history’s “great and enduring currencies.” He called the European Union a “misguided global institution.”
Source: Reuters , Oct 13, 1999

IMF & USAID create economic crises by hiding risk

Forbes says that the IMF helps create economic crises. “If you didn’t have the IMF, then lenders and investors would pay more attention” to the riskiness of their loans to developing nations. Left alone, investors and banks could have sorted out the Asian and Latin American crises better than the IMF did, Forbes said. Forbes also expressed skepticism about the IMF’s sister agency, the World Bank, and of the US Agency for International Development.
Source: Boston Globe on 2000 race, p. A14 , Oct 5, 1999

Eliminate IMF; eliminate Latin American currencies

Forbes called for the elimination of the International Monetary Fund. He also called for encouraging other countries, especially unstable Latin American countries, to peg their currencies to the US dollar - or employ the dollar itself - which would benefit the US economy in several ways.
Source: forbes2000.com , Jul 2, 1999

Russia: Help recovery or risk another Hitler

Russia isn’t lost yet-but it’s in serious danger. Its economy is in real trouble. Its people are suffering severely. Yeltsin is politically and physically weak - and Communists and extreme nationalists are gaining political strength. Russia needs sound free market reform advice or it could go the way of Germany in the 1920s and 1930s where an economic meltdown and hyperinflation led to the rise of Hitler. [The US] is squandering an historic opportunity to help Russia develop a healthy civil society.
Source: www.forbes2000.com/ “Turmoil in Russia” , May 21, 1999

Stop favoring some foreign leaders & undercutting others

The latest Russian bailout [which helped President Yeltsin avoid impeachment] also underscores another deplorable IMF practice - propping up favored political leaders and routinely undercutting others. Indonesia’s Suharto was considered by US Treasury Department and IMF pooh-bahs to be unacceptable. The screws were tightened until he was ousted.
Source: www.forbes2000.com “Free Markets” , May 21, 1999

Russia: Tax collection is pointless; aid goes to Mafia

[The IMF] is still beating Yeltsin over the head to “improve” tax collections. The taxes owed under its convoluted “code” [actually are] more money than the entire national income! The Kremlin pretty much leaves alone Mafia-controlled businesses and instead harasses and crushes honest entrepreneurs. Most of [IMF and US aid] money for Russia will end up in overseas bank accounts of Russian Mafiosi. Russia will continue to deteriorate. The Kremlin shows no sign of real reform.
Source: www.forbes2000.com “Free Markets” , May 21, 1999

Asian economic crisis: Defend currency instead of devaluing

Clinton and the IMF urged Thailand last year to devalue the bhat. When the Thais [did so], the Asia contagion began. The IMF. kiboshed Indonesia’s attempt to establish a currency board several months ago. The currency board concept has worked wonderfully in Hong Kong, preserving its currency during the crisis. When Indonesia announced that it was considering a currency board, overnight the rupiah jumped 30% in value. Instead of devaluations, the IMF should now recommend Hong Kong-style currency boards.
Source: www.forbes2000.com “Free Markets” , May 21, 1999

NATO: Admit Baltic States and others

Should other countries, such as the Baltic States, eventually be allowed into NATO? Indeed, they should. NATO can provide once-Communist satellites with a sense of security that will help democratic values sink lasting roots. NATO provided the framework of safety in post-WWII Western Europe] that helped these countries become strong democracies. Russia? A bigger NATO would forcefully tell nationalists that their fantasies of reestablishing a Soviet-style empire will remain just that.
Source: Fact and Comment FORBES Magazine , Apr 20, 1998

Steve Forbes on China

Sanctions if China passes technology to rogue states

You let them know what the rules are. If they don’t adhere to those rules, then you take the appropriate steps, including taking trade sanctions.
Source: GOP Debate in Manchester NH , Jan 26, 2000

“Constructive engagement” is abject appeasement

The rise of China as a new power is another great challenge for the US. Our failure to properly handle Germany and Japan earlier in the 20th century cost us and the world dearly. We must not make this same mistake with China. Our president calls his China policy “constructive engagement.” But it is better described as abject appeasement and a sellout of vital US interests. If we continue the administration’s drift and zig-zagging, our children and grandchildren will ultimately pay the price.
Source: “A New Birth of Freedom,” p. 166 , Nov 9, 1999

No tech to Chinese military; sanctions on PLA companies

We should stop selling China sophisticated technology that it can use for military purposes. If Beijing sells prohibited military equipment to rogue states, we should apply sanctions. The Chinese army controls some 15,000 companies that have about $10 billion in worldwide sales. We should apply sanctions on some of the PLA companies doing business in the US. If the offenses continue, we could slap penalties on those companies.
Source: “A New Birth of Freedom,” p. 167-8 , Nov 9, 1999

Do not permit use of force in Taiwan or Tibet

Forbes said it’s critical that US leaders make it clear China will not be permitted to use force to retake Taiwan. “Unfortunately, the Clinton White House is giving off very dangerous ambiguous signals,” he said. “On human rights, which touches on Tibet, we should make it clear we will denounce human rights abuses in China in every international forum possible. If they want to denounce us, fine. But we will win that kind of openness contest.”
Source: Mike Recht, Associated Press, on 2000 presidential race , Sep 10, 1999

Taiwan: Unconditional US response defends against China

Would Forbes defend Taiwan if China attacked? “Of course,” he said emphatically. “But unlike Clinton, I’d make damn sure Beijing knew that up front. Saying that protecting Taiwan would depend ‘on the circumstances’ invites trouble. That doesn’t mean you scream publicly,” Forbes said. “You don’t cause China to lose face needlessly. You hit them hard in private and send an unmistakable public signal. You send the Navy to the Taiwan Strait. You don’t explain why. You just do it. They’ll get the message.”
Source: (Cross-ref from Foreign Policy) Time magazine article by Mic , Jun 14, 1999

Cox Report indicates incompetence, ineptitude, insincerity

[Regarding the Cox Report,] Steve Forbes said the administration had demonstrated “incompetence, ineptitude and insincerity on a scale never before witnessed in the history of U.S. defense,” making a point to target not just Clinton but also Vice President Al Gore.
Source: Associated Press, “Republicans on China”, by K. Srinivasan , May 26, 1999

Punish China for wounding US security

Regarding the Cox Report: The administration’s “national security policy of hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil has deeply wounded” US security. Forbes said China should be punished. He called for an end to the licensing of military products to China, sanctions on People’s Liberation Army companies doing business in the United States and a halt to efforts to give China special breaks on entry into the World Trade Organization.“
Source: Reuters , May 25, 1999

China: Promote democracy and capitalism for long-term

Our ultimate hope for a fruitful, non-warlike relationship with China lies in the rise of pro-freedom, pro-free-enterprise forces within it. The US must publicly confront reprehensible Chinese government behavior. We must consistently and unashamedly champion the right of all Chinese citizens to freely worship, associate, speak, travel and trade. We should make clear our military commitment to the region. We must stop selling China sophisticated technology that it can use for military purposes.
Source: Memo to Congress: Beyond MFN: The China Challenge , Jun 26, 1997

Role in the world: military strength and moral clarity.

Forbes signed Project for the New American Century Statement of Principles

American foreign policy is adrift. Conservatives have criticized the incoherent policies of the Clinton Administration. They have also resisted isolationist impulses from within their own ranks. But conservatives have not confidently advanced a strategi

Source: PNAC Principles 97-PNAC-FP on Jun 3, 1997

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