Approves the Agreement entered into with the government of Peru. Provides for the Agreement's entry into force upon certain conditions being met on or after January 1, 2008. Prescribes requirements for:
enforcement of textile and apparel rules of origin;
certain textile and apparel safeguard measures; and
enforcement of export laws governing trade of timber products from Peru.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Rep. RANGEL: It's absolutely ridiculous to believe that we can create jobs without trade. I had the opportunity to travel to Peru recently. I saw firsthand how important this agreement is to Peru and how this agreement will strengthen an important ally of ours in that region. Peru is resisting the efforts of Venezuela's authoritarian President Hugo Chavez to wage a war of words and ideas in Latin America against the US. Congress should acknowledge the support of the people of Peru and pass this legislation by a strong margin.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Rep. WU: I regret that I cannot vote for this bill tonight because it does not put human rights on an equal footing with environmental and labor protections.
Rep. KILDEE: All trade agreements suffer from the same fundamental flaw: They are not self-enforcing. Trade agreements depend upon vigorous enforcement, which requires official complaints be made when violations occur. I have no faith in President Bush to show any enthusiasm to enforce this agreement. Congress should not hand this administration yet another trade agreement because past agreements have been more efficient at exporting jobs than goods and services. I appeal to all Members of Congress to vote NO on this. But I appeal especially to my fellow Democrats not to turn their backs on those American workers who suffer from the export of their jobs. They want a paycheck, not an unemployment check.
Reference: Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act;
Bill H.R. 3688
; vote number 2007-413
on Dec 4, 2007
Voted YES on free trade agreement with Oman.
Vote on final passage of a bill to implement the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement.
Opponents of the bill say to vote NAY because:
International trade can confer tremendous benefits on all of its participants. Unfortunately, the Oman Free Trade Agreement fails to live up to that potential.
In 2001, the US entered into a similar trade agreement with the country of Jordan. The agreement was heralded for its progressive labor standards. However, we have recently seen in Jordan instances of foreign workers forced into slave labor, stripped of their passports, denied their wages, and compelled to work for days without rest.
These incidents have been occurring in Jordan because Jordanian labor laws preclude protections for foreign workers. My fear in Oman is that they have far weaker labor standards, and that would lend itself to even worse conditions than in Jordan.
When our trade partners are held to different, less stringent standards, no one is better off.
When Omani firms can employ workers in substandard conditions, the Omani workers and American workers both lose. The playing field is not level.
Proponents of the bill say to vote YEA because:
The Oman Free Trade Agreement sends a very important message that the US strongly supports the economic development of moderate Middle Eastern nations. This is a vital message in the global war on terrorism.
Since the end of WWII, the US has accepted nonreciprocal trade concessions in order to further important Cold War and post-Cold War foreign policy objectives. Examples include offering Japan and Europe nonreciprocal access to American markets during the 1950s in order to strengthen the economies of our allies and prevent the spread of communism.
Oman is quickly running out of oil and, as a result, has launched a series of measures to reform its economy. This free-trade agreement immediately removes Oman's uniform 5% tariff on US goods.
Voted YES on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade.
Approves the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States-Free Trade Agreement entered into on August 5, 2005, with the governments of Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua (CAFTA-DR), and the statement of administrative action proposed to implement the Agreement. Voting YES would:
Progressively eliminate customs duties on all originating goods traded among the participating nations
Preserve US duties on imports of sugar goods over a certain quota
Remove duties on textile and apparel goods traded among participating nations
Prohibit export subsidies for agricultural goods traded among participating nations
Provide for cooperation among participating nations on customs laws and import licensing procedures
Recommend that each participating nation uphold the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
Urge each participating nation to obey various international agreements regarding intellectual property rights
Reference: Central America Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act;
Bill HR 3045
; vote number 2005-209
on Jul 28, 2005
Voted YES on establishing free trade between US & Singapore.
Vote to pass a bill that would put into effect a trade agreement between the US and Singapore. The trade agreement would reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the US and Singapore. The agreement would remove tariffs on goods and duties on textiles, and open markets for services The agreement would also establish intellectual property, environmental and labor standards.
Reference: US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act;
Bill S.1417/HR 2739
; vote number 2003-318
on Jul 31, 2003
Voted YES on establishing free trade between the US and Chile.
Vote to pass a bill that would put into effect a trade agreement between the US and Chile. The agreement would reduce tariffs and trade barriers between the US and Chile. The trade pact would decrease duties and tariffs on agricultural and textile products. It would also open markets for services. The trade pact would establish intellectual property safeguards and would call for enforcement of environmental and labor standards.
Reference: US-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act;
Bill S.1416/HR 2738
; vote number 2003-319
on Jul 31, 2003
Voted YES on extending free trade to Andean nations.
HR3009 Fast Track Trade Authority bill: To extend the Andean Trade Preference Act, to grant additional trade benefits under that Act, and for other purposes. Vote to pass a bill that would enlarge duty-free status to particular products from Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, renew the president's fast-track authority and reauthorize and increase a program to make accessible retraining and relocation assistance to U.S. workers hurt by trade agreements. It would also approve a five-year extension of Generalized System of Preferences and produce a refundable 70 percent tax credit for health insurance costs for displaced workers.
Voted YES on removing common goods from national security export rules.
Vote to provide the president the authority to control the export of sensitive dual-use items for national security purposes. The bill would eliminate restrictions on the export of technology that is readily available in foreign markets.
Vote to expand trade with more than 70 countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. The countries would be required to meet certain eligibility requirements in protecting freedoms of expression and associatio
Rated 92% by CATO, indicating a pro-free trade voting record.
Voinovich scores 92% by CATO on senior issues
The mission of the Cato Institute Center for Trade Policy Studies is to increase public understanding of the benefits of free trade and the costs of protectionism.
The Cato Trade Center focuses not only on U.S. protectionism, but also on trade barriers around the world. Cato scholars examine how the negotiation of multilateral, regional, and bilateral trade agreements can reduce trade barriers and provide institutional support for open markets. Not all trade agreements, however, lead to genuine liberalization. In this regard, Trade Center studies scrutinize whether purportedly market-opening accords actually seek to dictate marketplace results, or increase bureaucratic interference in the economy as a condition of market access.
Studies by Cato Trade Center scholars show that the United States is most effective in encouraging open markets abroad when it leads by example.
The relative openness and consequent strength of the U.S. economy already lend powerful support to the worldwide trend toward embracing open markets. Consistent adherence by the United States to free trade principles would give this trend even greater momentum. Thus, Cato scholars have found that unilateral liberalization supports rather than undermines productive trade negotiations.
Scholars at the Cato Trade Center aim at nothing less than changing the terms of the trade policy debate: away from the current mercantilist preoccupation with trade balances, and toward a recognition that open markets are their own reward.
The following ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Extend trade restrictions on Burma to promote democracy.
Voinovich co-sponsored extending trade restrictions on Burma to promote democracy
A joint resolution approving the renewal of import restrictions contained in the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003. The original act sanctioned the ruling military junta, and recognized the National League of Democracy as the legitimate representative of the Burmese people.
Legislative Outcome: Related bills: H.J.RES.44, H.J.RES.93, S.J.RES.41; became Public Law 110-52.
Insist on access to post-mad-cow Japanese beef markets.
Voinovich signed S.RES.452 & H.RES.1196
RESOLUTION Supporting increased market access for exports of United States beef and beef products to Japan.
Whereas, in 2003, Japan was the largest market for US beef, with exports valued at $1,400,000,000;
Whereas, after the discovery of 1 Canadian-born cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy ([known as "mad cow disease"] or BSE) disease in Dec. 2003, Japan closed its market to US beef, and still restricts access to a large number of safe US beef products;
Whereas for years the US has developed and implemented a multilayered system of interlocking safeguards to ensure the safety of US beef, and after the 2003 discovery, the US implemented further safeguards to ensure beef safety;
Whereas a 2006 study by the USDA found that BSE was virtually nonexistent in the US;
Whereas, from 2004 through 2009, US beef exports to Japan averaged roughly $196,000,000, less than 15% of the amount the US sold to Japan in 2003, causing significant losses for
US cattle producers; and
Whereas, while Japan remains an important trading partner of the US, this unscientific trade restriction is not consistent with fair trade practices, nor with US treatment of Japanese imports:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that--
it is not in the interest of either the US or Japan to arbitrarily restrict market access for their close partners;
trade between the US and Japan should be conducted with mutual respect and based on sound science;
since banning US beef in Dec. 2003, Japan has not treated US beef producers fairly;
both Japan and the US should comply with guidelines based on sound science;
Japan should immediately expand market access for US exporters of both bone-in and boneless beef beyond the existing standard of beef from cattle 20 months and younger; and
the President should insist on increased access for US exporters of beef and beef products to the market in Japan.
Source: Resolution on Japanese trade 10-SR452 on Mar 11, 2010
Ease Canadian border-crossing rules.
Voinovich signed the Midwestern Governors' Conference resolution:
WHEREAS, the United States and Canada share the longest undefended border in the world; and
WHEREAS, the United States and Canada have the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world, exceeding $1 billion every day; and
WHEREAS, the rate of cross-border traffic is steadily increasing, with billions of dollars worth of goods and tens of millions of American and Canadian citizens crossing the land border each year; and
WHEREAS, Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 requires the U.S. Attorney General to develop an automated entry-exit control system to register “all aliens” entering and departing the United States; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service has indicated that it cannot meet the September 30, 1998 deadline for implementing the entry and exit tracking system
and that it does not have the appropriation necessary to put the system in place; and
WHEREAS, this system will place an unmanageable requirement on border-crossing services, impose serious delays at the Canada-U.S. land border and result in unintended negative consequences for international trade, tourism, and the economies in our region; and
WHEREAS, reports about serious congestion at the Canada - U.S. border have generated concern and uncertainty in the business community; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Midwestern Governors’ Conference calls on Congress and the President to work to enact legislation this year that suspends implementation of Section 110 until they can ensure that any entry-exit control system, if deemed necessary, does not distrupt trade, tourism or other legitimate cross border traffic at land border points of entry.
Source: Resolution of Midwestern Governors' Conf. on Canadian Border 98-MGC3 on May 12, 1998