TRADE POLICY: OBAMA vs ROMNEY

International trade is vital to our economy, so much of the debate in the upcoming Presidential election has surrounded the candidates’ foreign trade policies. President Barack Obama (D) and his challenger, Governor Mitt Romney (R), have each publicly stated support for free trade; however their trade philosophies are very different.

 

President Obama introduced the National Export Initiative (“NEI”) in 2010 and stated his goal of doubling exports over the following five years.[1]The U.S. is currently on track to not only reach, but also to exceed this goal with a current annual increase in exports of 16%.[2] Although President Obama has not opened any new trade negotiations, he has worked with Congress to pass three free trade agreements that were previously languishing:  Panama, South Korea, and Colombia.[3]  The Obama administration has also participated in negotiating a trade pact with Pacific nations known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).[4]  Although he acknowledges and supports the necessity of international free trade, President Obama still endorses the need for Americans to “Buy American”.[5]

 

Governor Mitt Romney has been thorough in outlining his foreign trade policies, a main objective of which is to create a “Reagan Economic Zone”, similar to that which President Reagan attempted during his presidency.[6]  Gov. Romney anticipates that the Zone would standardize practices and create a network of “like-minded” nations that are committed to free enterprise and open markets.[7]    According to Romney, “for every $1 billion in U.S. exports, another 5,000 jobs are created in the U.S.”.[8]  Thus, continued pursuit of current and new trade agreements will help stimulate the economy.

 

China is a hot topic for trade, and it is one of the key points for both Romney and Obama’s campaigns.  Among Romney’s objectives is the decision to take Chinese businesses to court and litigate against unfair trade practices, as well as declaring China a “currency manipulator”.[9]  In contrast to Gov. Romney’s stance, President Obama has never openly reprimanded China for manipulating its currency to fit its needs; however, the President’s administration has litigated unfair trade cases against China.[10]

 

The purpose of this blog post is solely to help inform our readers and not as a means of endorsing either candidate.  We hope that all our readers will be better informed to make the decision on November  6, 2012 that best fits their values and beliefs.

 

For more information on the 2012 Presidential Candidates please visit the links referenced in this post or the nominees’ websites directly at http://www.barackobama.com/ and http://www.mittromney.com/. For more information on the 2012 Presidential Election, how and when to vote visit http://www.presidentialelection.com/.


[1] U.S. Dept of Commerce, International Trade Administration: National Export Initiative http://trade.gov/nei/nei-introduction-state-of-the-union-012710.asp

[4] Executive Office of the President, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative: The U.S. in the Trans-Pacific Partnership http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/fact-sheets/2011/november/united-states-trans-pacific-partnership

[5] Business without Borders: Trade Off, Obama vs Romney on the politics of foreign trade http://www.businesswithoutborders.com/industries/importexport/trade-off/

[6] Mitt Romney’s Campaign Website: Issues, China & East Asia http://www.mittromney.com/issues/china-east-asia

[7] Id.

[8] Business without Borders: Trade Off, Obama vs Romney on the politics of foreign trade http://www.businesswithoutborders.com/industries/importexport/trade-off/

[10] Business without Borders: Trade Off, Obama vs Romney on the politics of foreign trade http://www.businesswithoutborders.com/industries/importexport/trade-off/

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