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Pete Buttigieg on Free Trade

Democratic Presidential Challenger; IN Mayor

 


I support USMCA, but focus on people over corporations

Q: Do you support the USMCA?

BUTTIGIEG: Yes. When you sit down with people, they share how much harm has been done to them by trade wars. We can benefit consumers, workers and farmers by making sure we have the right kind of labor and enforceability, as Democrats ensured we got in this USMCA. But let's acknowledge why there is frustration. I remember the '90s [government] selling trade deals, telling us, the pie will get so much bigger that everyone will be better off. That promise was broken.

Source: 7th Democrat primary debate, on eve of Iowa caucus , Jan 14, 2020

Trump tariffs come down on us, without any bigger strategy

Q: President Trump tweets that the Chinese are just going to wait him out so that they can get a Democrat who they can take advantage of. How do you think about China? We've seen President Trump call President Xi both an enemy and a friend.

BUTTIGIEG: Well, the president clearly has no strategy. You know, when I first got into this race, I remember President Trump scoffed and said he'd like to see me making a deal with Xi Jinping. I'd like to see HIM making a deal with Xi Jinping! Is it just me, or was that supposed to happen in, like, April?

Q: Would you repeal the tariffs?

BUTTIGIEG: I would have a strategy that would include the tariffs as leverage, but it's not about the tariffs. Look, what's going on right now is a president who has reduced the entire China challenge into a question of tariffs, when what we know is that the tariffs are coming down on us more than anybody else and there's a lack of a bigger strategy.

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston , Sep 12, 2019

Invest in domestic competitiveness to stay ahead of China

My focus, in terms of a China strategy, will be identifying areas of mutual advantage and holding them accountable for the problems. Just realize that they're not going to change their fundamental economic model because we poked them with a few tariffs. That's why the ultimate way to stay ahead of China is to invest in our domestic competitiveness. Now unfortunately, we're doing the reverse, under-investing in everything from education to infrastructure here at home.
Source: Meet the Press interview for 2019 Democratic primary , Aug 25, 2019

Americans pay the price for Trump's trade war with China

It's also a fool's errand to think you're going to be able to get China to change the fundamentals of their economic model by poking them in the eye with some tariffs. The president has failed to deliver a deal. In the meantime, we're paying the cost of these tariffs. We're going to see even more in the prices of consumer goods. There is clearly no strategy for dealing with the trade war in a way that will actually lead to results for American farmers or American consumers.
Source: CNN State of the Union interview for 2019 Democratic primary , Aug 18, 2019

Deals must support workers, but US can't sit on sidelines

Q: Would you support the United States joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

BUTTIGIEG: I would not support the US joining the current CPTPP. It lacks critical trade provisions on labor, environment, and the digital economy, and does not align closely enough with the needs and interests of American workers. At the same time, we should not surrender the world's fastest growing markets in Asia to other nations. China is negotiating broad new trade agreements with their neighbors that favor China's economy and workers. Sitting on the sidelines is a losing proposition for America.

Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential primary , Jul 30, 2019

Support African nations; recognize market opportunities

Africa is not a country: it is a diverse and multifaceted continent of states. Our priorities should include helping our African partners: accountable governance, climate change mitigation and conflict prevention. That continent now boasts some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, which have lifted millions out of poverty and into the global marketplace. Sub-Saharan Africa represents one of the biggest opportunities for new markets for US goods and investment.
Source: Council on Foreign Relations on 2020 presidential primary , Jul 30, 2019

Demand changes to post-NAFTA agreement USMCA

Buttigieg on NAFTA/USMCA: Demand changes to USMCA.

15 CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Joe Biden; Cory Booker; Julian Castro; Bill de Blasio; Kirsten Gillibrand; Kamala Harris; John Hickenlooper; Jay Inslee; Amy Klobuchar; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan; Bernard Sanders; Eric Swalwell; Elizabeth Warren; Marianne Williamson.

The majority of Democratic candidates want changes made to the agreement before it comes up for a vote in Congress, focusing on labor & environmental standards.

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Don't use tariffs to pressure countries

Buttigieg on Tariffs: Don't use tariffs to pressure countries.

FIVE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Joe Biden; Steve Bullock; Kirsten Gillibrand; Kamala Harris; Beto O`Rourke.

The majority of Democrats have broadly slammed Trump's use of tariffs. Harris and Gillibrand say tariffs on China and U.S. allies hurt American consumers, workers and companies. Joe Biden and other candidates have argued that farmers and manufacturers are feeling the brunt of Trump's trade wars.

Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues" , Jul 17, 2019

Tariffs are taxes; we pay $800 a year for Trump's tariffs

We've got to recognize that the China challenge is serious but their fundamental economic model isn't going to change because of some tariffs. Tariffs are taxes. Americans are going to pay on average $800 more a year because of these tariffs. Meanwhile, China is investing in artificial intelligence. This president is fixated on the China relationship as if all that mattered was the export balance on dishwashers. We've got a much bigger issue on our hands.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

Free trade doesn't have to mean exporting jobs

We need to find a way to make sure that trade actually works for us. What we do need to make sure of is that there are enough measures, including adjustment assistance, including making sure that we make whole in some way the people who were made worse off, that we're actually keeping the promise of trade.

We can make trade work for our communities. One of my favorite examples, is a Union Autoworkers UAW facility that is making electric vehicles for a start-up based in Silicon Valley where a lot of the investment came from China. Before that, there was a three-year contract where that facility was working for Mercedes making vehicles sold in the Asian market. So you got American union autoworkers making German cars going to Chinese customers, and we're sending our products, not our jobs, to Asia. That's how I want it to work.

Source: CNN Town Hall 2020 Democratic primary , Apr 22, 2019

Other candidates on Free Trade: Pete Buttigieg on other issues:
Incoming 2021 Biden Administration:
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DOT:Pete Buttigieg
HUD:Marcia Fudge
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Page last updated: Dec 21, 2020