State of Nevada Archives: on Free Trade

Bill Richardson: We need fair trade, not just unabashed free trade

Q: Should further rounds of the World Trade Organization agreements incorporate internationally recognized workers rights?

A: What I believe we need in this country is fair trade, not just unabashed free trade. What I would do is, first of all, any future international trade agreement should have the following components as part of the law, not as a side agreement.

  1. Worker protections, because this is critically important comparing work standards in America and in other countries.
  2. We should have environmental protections. One of the unfortunate sides of NAFTA, which I supported, was that it was supposed to improve air quality. It hasn’t happened. So there has to be very, very strong labor protections and environmental protections.
  3. Last, wage disparities. I think it’s critically important that any future trade agreement look what other countries have in terms of wages and find ways to promote equity in those wage disparities. But we are in a global world.
Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

Dan Schwartz: Bring in out-of-state business but no overseas missions

Schwartz lays out his accomplishments in his esoteric role as state treasurer: increasing the investment returns for the state, speeding up the unclaimed property processing times and advocating for ESAs. He lays out bullet points of his vision for the governorship, which is heavy on economic issues: state officials won't head overseas for trade missions, for example, but they'll set up offices in California to get companies to move in.
Source: The Nevada Independent on 2018 Nevada Gubernatorial race Jan 21, 2018

Dennis Kucinich: NAFTA and GATT intentionally limit workers rights

One of the things that’s led to a destructive undermining of workers’ rights in this country is our trade agreements. If you go back to when NAFTA was passed, and GATT, and the creation of World Trade Organization, they were written specifically so there wouldn’t be any provisions for workers’ rights. No protection for the right to organize, the right to strike, the right to collective bargaining. Those were all excluded from trade agreements.

Now, why was that? Cheap labor. They also were looking to move it to places where if possible they could have prison labor, slave labor, child labor. They didn’t want environmental restrictions. So what happened is NAFTA and GATT opened up the door for that. And it really undermined workers in this country, it undermined workers in other countries.

My first week in office, I will move to cancel NAFTA and our relationship with the WTO and go back to bilateral trade that will be conditioned on workers’ rights, human rights, environmental quality principles.

Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

Jacky Rosen: Oppose bad trade deals; insist on a level playing field

Jacky will be a leader in Congress to strengthen our alliance with the state of Israel, our closest ally and a bastion of democracy in the Middle East. She'll work to strengthen our NATO alliance, and demand that China stop manipulating its currency. She'll work to make America economically secure, by opposing bad trade deals and insisting on a level playing field in international trade, where American companies and American workers can compete fairly and succeed.
Source: 2016 Nevada House campaign website Nov 8, 2016

James Vandermaas: Tariffs and trade war with China put our farmers at risk

The tariffs are causing our Idaho dairies and farmers to suffer more than we know. Many of our dairies and farmers are at risk of closing because the subsidies only provide mere pennies on the dollar, one Idaho County wheat farmer received a subsidy check for only $2 in total for 2018! There are smarter ways to deal with the trade issues with China that won't put our dairy & agriculture farmers at risk of closing. We must protect our farmers!
Source: 2022 Nevada Senate campaign website Dec 9, 2021

Joe Biden: Chinese pollution will result in tariffs on their products

China is taking the dirtiest coal in the world mostly out of Mongolia and spreading it all around the world. Make it clear when you call them to Washington in the first 100 days, if you continue, you will suffer severe consequences because the rest of the world will impose tariffs on everything you're selling because you are undercutting the entire economy.
Source: 9th Democrat 2020 primary debate, in Las Vegas Nevada Feb 19, 2020

John Edwards: We need smart trade, not fair trade vs. free trade

We need a trade policy that works, a trade policy that's fair to us and fair to the rest of the world. We have this great debate between fair trade and free trade; what we really need is smart trade. We need real standards in our trade agreements and our bilateral trade agreements, international labor standards, international environmental standards. They need to be standards that are achievable, but we need to have those standards.
Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

John Edwards: Globalization means more education needed for success

Q: The issue of globalization has shifted somewhat in recent years as many white collar jobs have been outsourced overseas.

A: We have to be smarter than we've been about the effects of globalization. What globalization has done is created a stratification of class in America. It's much more difficult for somebody like me, who came from a pretty modest background and now has absolutely everything, to be able to do that in the country today. There are a lot of reasons for it. Our tax structure is one reason; not having access to health care is another. But the impact of globalization has makes it much more difficult to be able to move up and for their children to have a better life.

We have to be smarter, better educated. Science, math, technology -- we need to push more kids into those areas. We need to make it easier for kids to go to college, not harder. We need more serious investment in graduate education in all those areas.

Source: 2007 AFSCME Democratic primary debate in Carson City Nevada Feb 21, 2007

John Edwards: Hold China responsible for their trade obligations

Q: Was your vote to normalize trade relations with China a mistake?

A: What is a mistake is allowing China to operate unfettered, to send dangerous products into this country, to not have the president of the US hold them responsible for their trading obligations to the WTO, which has not been done. It was right to bring them into the WTO. It's wrong to not hold them responsible for their obligations.

Source: 2007 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada Nov 15, 2007

Steve Sisolak: Look forward to introducing Canadian companies to our state

[On Elko mining incubator]: "I'm very excited to welcome MineConnect to Nevada, a non-profit that will enhance one of our most important industries," said Gov. Steve Sisolak. "I'm confident this will be a mutually beneficial relationship. I look forward to introducing Canadian companies to our state, which will greatly enhance our mining industry's supply chain."
Source: Business Facilities blog on 2022 Nevada Gubernatorial race Mar 22, 2021

Susie Lee: Expand trade but protect workers, environment

Asked about the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) and TPP in a Sept. 13 interview, she said she supports "expanding trade but also making sure we have the protections of the environment and the workers internationally," as well as "helping our country create not only good-paying jobs but good-paying careers."
Source: The Nevada Independent on 2018 NV-3 House race Sep 15, 2017

  • The above quotations are from State of Nevada 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