Michaud Disputes Obama's Trade Proposals
Maine Congressman Mike Michaud is known as a national leader on the issue of fair trade. He chairs the House Trade Working Group and has been the lead sponsor in the House of the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, legislation backed by unions and environmenal groups that would reform the WTO and NAFTA and change the way the United States enters into international trade agreements.
Hours after President Obama gave his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Michaud sent out a statement assessing the part of the speech that dealt with international trade.
From a transcript of President Obama's remarks:
We have to seek new markets aggressively, just as our competitors are. If America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade deals, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores. (Applause.) But realizing those benefits also means enforcing those agreements so our trading partners play by the rules. (Applause.) And that's why we'll continue to shape a Doha trade agreement that opens global markets, and why we will strengthen our trade relations in Asia and with key partners like South Korea and Panama and Colombia. (Applause.)
Congressman Michaud's response:
[P]art of the President’s prescription for change is flawed and ignores the lessons of the past, I strongly oppose his call for the ratification of the free trade agreement with Korea, as well as deals with Panama and Colombia. The Korean deal is based on the same trade model as NAFTA, which has led to significant job losses and reductions in our manufacturing sector in Maine. These were the actual results of NAFTA, even though we were told at the time that it would generate thousands of new jobs. I’m disappointed that the President is now using the same trade model and talking points of the past, all while ignoring the negative, real world experiences of states like Maine in the process.