Ron Paul
1999 Ron Paul Chapter 82

Free Trade

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27 July 1999

Mr. CRANE. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from Texas (Mr. PAUL).

(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

1999 Ron Paul 82:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time. I rise in opposition to this resolution and in support of free trade.

1999 Ron Paul 82:2
Mr. Speaker, the reason a country engages in free trade is not altruism — we do not encourage trade and low tariffs for the benefit of a trading partner. Even if the reciprocal country does not lower its tariffs we can still benefit.

1999 Ron Paul 82:3
Open and free trade with all nations, short of war, should be pursued for two specific reasons. One, it’s a freedom issue; the right of the citizens of a free country to spend their money any way they see fit, anywhere in the world. And two, free trade provides the best deal for consumers allowing each to cast dollar votes with each purchase respecting quality and price. The foreign competition is a blessing in that it challenges domestic industries to do better. The Japanese car industry certainly resulted in American car manufacturers offering more competitive products.

1999 Ron Paul 82:4
In setting trade policy we must not assume that it is our job to solve any internal political problems of our trading partners any more than it is their responsibility to deal with our internal shortcomings.

1999 Ron Paul 82:5
Our biggest problem here in the Congress is that we seemingly never have a chance to vote for genuine free trade. The choice is almost always between managed-plus-subsidized trade or sanctions-plus-protectionism. Our careless use of language (most likely deliberate) is deceitful.

1999 Ron Paul 82:6
Genuine free trade would involve low tariffs and no subsidies. Export-Import Bank funding, OPIC, and trade development subsidies to our foreign competitors would never exist. Trading with China should be permissible, but aid should never occur either directly or through multilateral banking organizations such as the IMF or World Bank. A true free trade policy would exclude the management of trade by international agencies such as the WTO and NAFTA. Unfortunately, these agencies are used too frequently to officially place restrictions on countries or firms that sell products “too cheaply” — a benefit to consumers but challenging to politically-favored domestic or established “competitors.” This is nothing more than worldwide managed trade (regulatory cartels) and will eventually lead to a trade war despite all the grandiose talk of free trade.

1999 Ron Paul 82:7
Trade policy should never be mixed with the issue of domestic political problems. Dictatorial governments trading with freer nations are more likely to respect civil liberties if they are trading with them. Also, it is true that nations that trade are less likely to go to war with one another.

1999 Ron Paul 82:8
If all trade subsidies are eliminated, there is less temptation on our part to impose conditions on others receiving our grants and loans.

1999 Ron Paul 82:9
Before we assume that we can improve the political liberties of foreign citizens, we must meet the responsibility of protecting all civil liberties of our own citizens irrespective of whether it is guaranteeing first and second amendment protections or guaranteeing the balance of power between the states and the federal government as required by the ninth and tenth amendments.

1999 Ron Paul 82:10
Every argument today for trading with China is an argument for removing all sanctions with all nations including Cuba, Libya, Iran and Iraq. None of these nations come close to being a threat to our national sovereignty. If trade with China is to help us commercially and help the cause of peace, so too would trade with all countries.

1999 Ron Paul 82:11
I look forward to the day that our trade debate may advance from the rhetoric of managed trade versus protectionism to that of true free trade, without subsidies or WTO-like management; or better yet, free trade with an internationally accepted monetary unit recognizing the fallacy of mismanaged fiat currencies.

1999 Ron Paul 82:1 Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time. Here, Ron Paul thanks The Honorable Philip M. Crane of Illinois.

1999 Ron Paul 82:6 politically-favored probably should be unhyphenated: politically favored.

1999 Ron Paul 82:9 first and second amendment protections probably should be hyphenated and capitalized: First- and Second-Amendment protections.

1999 Ron Paul 82:9 ninth and tenth amendments probably should be capitlaized: Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

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