2016 Republican Presidential Candidates


Fair International Trade


  1. Free from obstacles or hindrances; unobstructed; unencumbered; open; direct.
  2. Characterized by frankness, honesty, impartiality, or candor; open; upright; free from suspicion or bias; equitable; just.
  3. Clearly; openly; frankly; civilly; honestly; favorably; auspiciously; agreeably.
International: Between or among nations; pertaining to the intercourse of nations; participated in by two or more nations; common to, or affecting, two or more nations.
  1. Business of any kind; matter of mutual consideration; affair; dealing.
  2. The act or business of exchanging commodities by barter, or by buying and selling for money; commerce; traffic; barter.
  3. To barter, or to buy and sell; to be engaged in the exchange, purchase, or sale of goods, wares, merchandise, or anything else; to traffic; to bargain; to carry on commerce as a business.
  4. To sell or exchange in commerce; to barter.

Constitutional Quotes

  •  Article. I, Section 8 - The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
  •  To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes
  •  Article. I, Section 9
    •  No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
    •  No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another; nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
  •  Article. I, Section 10
    •  No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
    •  No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.
    •  No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
    •  Article. II, Section 2 - He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
  •  Article VI, Section 2 - This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.


  •  Article of Confederation III - The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever.
  •  Article of Confederation IV - The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States; and the people of each State shall free ingress and regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions, and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restrictions shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any State, to any other State, of which the owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any State, on the property of the United States, or either of them.
  •  Article of Confederation VI
    •  No State shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations in treaties, entered into by the United States in Congress assembled, with any King, Prince or State, in pursuance of any treaties already proposed by Congress, to the courts of France and Spain.
  •  Article of Confederation IX - The United States in Congress assembled, shall have the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war, except in the cases mentioned in the sixth article -- of sending and receiving ambassadors -- entering into treaties and alliances, provided that no treaty of commerce shall be made whereby the legislative power of the respective States shall be restrained from imposing such imposts and duties on foreigners, as their own people are subjected to, or from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species of goods or commodities whatsoever -- of establishing rules for deciding in all cases, what captures on land or water shall be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the United States shall be divided or appropriated -- of granting letters of marque and reprisal in times of peace -- appointing courts for the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and establishing courts for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of captures, provided that no member of Congress shall be appointed a judge of any of the said courts.
  • Article of Confederation IX
    •  The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective States -- fixing the standards of weights and measures throughout the United States -- regulating the trade and managing all affairs with the Indians, not members of any of the States, provided that the legislative right of any State within its own limits be not infringed or violated -- establishing or regulating post offices from one State to another, throughout all the United States, and exacting such postage on the papers passing through the same as may be requisite to defray the expenses of the said office -- appointing all officers of the land forces, in the service of the United States, excepting regimental officers -- appointing all the officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the United States -- making rules for the government and regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing their operations.


  •  Declaration of Independence
      •  He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
        •  For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    •  We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

2004 Republican Platform Quotes

  •  Winning the War on Terror
    •  Building a Better World Based on Democratic Governments, Free Markets, and International Compassion
      •  Republicans support the President's goal to help unleash the productive potential of individuals in all nations. The United States and other developed countries should set an ambitious and specific target: to double the size of the world's poorest economies within a decade.
      •  We endorse the strategies that the United States is pursuing to achieve this goal, including:
        • opening societies to commerce and investment;
      •  Republicans know that a strong world economy enhances our national security by advancing prosperity and freedom in the rest of the world. Economic growth supported by free trade and free markets creates new jobs and higher incomes. It allows people to lift their lives out of poverty, spurs economic and legal reform, enhances the fight against corruption, and reinforces the habits of liberty.
      •  Under Republican leadership, the United States has fostered an environment of economic openness to capitalize on our country's greatest asset in the information age: a vital, innovative society that welcomes creative ideas and adapts to them. American companies continue to show the world innovative ways to improve productivity and redraw traditional business models. Upon this extraordinary foundation, President Bush and the Republican Congress have rebuilt an effective American trade policy. Rooted in America's political and economic ideals, the Republican blueprint they have implemented promotes open markets and open societies, free trade and the free flow of information, and the development of new ideas and private sectors.
      •  Republicans applaud the renewal of the executive-Congressional partnership on trade matters under Republican leadership. After a gap of eight years, the Administration reestablished majority support in the Congress for free and fair trade by passing Trade Promotion Authority and the other market-opening measures for developing countries in the Trade Act of 2002.
      •  We commend the strong record of President Bush and the Republican Congress in using their authority to promote economic growth and economic freedom beyond America's shores, especially through free trade initiatives. We support the Administration's comprehensive strategy to promote free trade, exemplified by the launch of the Doha negotiation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), regional and sub-regional initiatives such as the Central American Free Trade Agreement, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, and the Middle East Free Trade Area, extension of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and the conclusion of bilateral free trade agreements with nations such as Australia, Morocco, Chile, and Singapore. We hail the strong record of President Bush and the Republican Congress in:
        •  completing agreements with 12 countries, and currently negotiating with 10 other nations, to reduce trade barriers - together, these 22 nations represent America's third largest export market, with economies totaling $2.5 trillion in purchasing power;
        •  enforcing trade agreements and laws against unfair practices, including staunch opposition to regulations that impede farm exports and improved agriculture;
        •  opposing unfair manipulation of currency rates by U.S. trading partners; and
        •  taking timely action to help domestic industries and workers adjust to foreign competition, including through safeguard actions in support of America's manufacturing sector and trade adjustment assistance for workers;
        •  incorporating appropriate labor and environmental concerns into U.S. trade negotiations, promoting mutually supportive trade and environmental policies and agreements; and
        •  using the International Labor Organization, trade preference programs, and trade talks to improve working conditions in conjunction with freer trade.
      •  We recognize that there is a fundamental connection between trade and development. Trade policies can help developing countries strengthen property rights, competition, the rule of law, investment, the spread of knowledge, open societies, the efficient allocation of resources, and regional integration - all leading to growth, opportunity, and confidence in developing countries. We therefore welcome the Republican-led reauthorization in the Trade Act of 2002 of preference programs with the nations of the Caribbean and Andean regions.
    •  International Institutions
      •  Republicans are guided by the conviction that no nation can build a safer, better world alone. In addition to NATO, the Organization of American States, and other long- standing alliances, the United States is committed to lasting institutions like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. While international organizations can serve the cause of peace, Republicans believe they can never serve as a substitute for, or exercise a veto over, principled American leadership.
    •  Neighborhood of the Americas
      •  Republicans believe that sound American foreign policy starts in our own neighborhood. Family and faith, culture and commerce, are enduring bonds among all the peoples of the Americas. Our nation's future is fundamentally linked to our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere. Republicans share President Bush's vision of the Americas as a fully democratic hemisphere, working together to achieve representative democracy, security, and market-based development. We also applaud his proven track record in advancing trade liberalization in the Americas in order to promote economic development and democratic governance.
      •  Republicans support the leadership of the President and the Republican Congress to advance prosperity throughout the Americas through free trade. We applaud the U.S.- Chile Free Trade Agreement implemented by the Bush Administration - the first such agreement with a South American nation in U.S. history. We also applaud President Bush's conclusion of a free trade agreement with six countries in our neighborhood - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. We support the President's goal of negotiating free trade agreements with Panama and the Andean nations. These initiatives complement the goal of achieving a genuine, comprehensive free trade area in the hemisphere. As Republicans, we believe that the Free Trade Area of the Americas is the best route to achieving that goal.
      •  As Republicans, we support President Bush's principled position that the current embargo on trade with, and restrictions on travel to, Cuba must remain in place as along as the Cuban government refuses to hold free and fair elections, ease its stranglehold on private enterprise, and allow the Cuban people to organize, assemble, and speak freely.
    •  Africa
      •  Republicans believe that because Africans and Americans share a belief in the values of liberty and dignity, we must share in the labor of advancing those values. We endorse President Bush's conviction that in a time of growing commerce across the globe, America must work to ensure that the nations of Africa are full partners in the trade and prosperity of the world.
      •  The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is bringing hundreds of thousands of jobs and investment opportunity to sub-Saharan Africa. Under President Bush's leadership, Congress has extended AGOA beyond 2008 - an achievement that will help give businesses the confidence to make long-term investments in Africa. Republicans believe that the United States must continue to work to complete a free trade agreement with the nations of the Southern African Customs Union to create new opportunities for farmers and workers and entrepreneurs all across Africa. We also applaud the efforts of the Bush Administration to strengthen and broaden capital markets on the continent.
    •  Across the Pacific
      •  America supports an economically vibrant and open Japan that serves as an engine of expanding prosperity and trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
      •  Republicans hail the signing into law of the U.S.- Australia Free Trade Agreement and look forward to building on more than 50 years of alliance cooperation to resolve regional and global problems.
      •  Republicans applaud India's move toward greater economic freedom. We hold a common interest in the free flow of commerce, including through the vital sea lanes of the Indian Ocean.
      • America will also build on stability provided by our Asian alliances, as well as with institutions such as ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, to develop a mix of regional and bilateral strategies to advance progress and deepen our ties to the peoples of this region.
      •  Our important bilateral trade relationship has benefited from China's entry into the World Trade Organization, creating export opportunities and jobs for American farmers, workers, and companies. Republicans support the commitment of President Bush and Republicans in Congress to ensure that China fulfills its WTO obligations.
      •  Republicans applaud Taiwan's membership in the World Trade Organization and support its participation in the World Health Organization and other multilateral institutions.
    •  The Broader Middle East and North Africa
      •  As a fundamental element of the President's strategy, Republicans support the expansion of economic opportunities for the peoples of the Middle East, including through free trade. We applaud the enactment of free trade agreements with Jordan and Morocco, and the completion of negotiations toward such an agreement with Bahrain. We support the President's goal of a Middle East Free Trade Area by 2013 and highlight the conclusion of Trade and Investment Framework Agreements with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Tunisia, among others.
  •  Ushering in an Ownership Era
    •  Small Business
      •  Republicans pledged in 2000 to lower tax rates for small business owners and entrepreneurs, end the death tax, cut red tape, reform our liability system, and aggressively expand overseas markets for our goods and services.
        •  Negotiated agreements to reduce trade barriers and expand access to foreign markets.
  •  Building an Innovative, Globally Competitive Economy
    •  America's economy is the strongest in the world, and it is getting stronger thanks to lower taxes, fewer burdensome regulations, and a focus on encouraging investment. Our goal is to make sure America remains the strongest economy in a dynamic world and to make it possible for every American who wants a job to find one. We must ensure that workers are equipped with the education and training to succeed in the best jobs of the 21st century, and we must encourage the strong spirit of innovation that has put America at the forefront of new technology industries. Future prosperity demands that we have affordable, cleaner, more independent energy supplies and affordable, high-quality health care. We must maintain our commitment to free and fair trade, lower taxes, limited regulation, and a limited, efficient government that keeps up with the new realities of a changing world. By keeping the costs of running a business low and ensuring that our workers have the skills to compete in a dynamic global economy, President Bush and the Republican Congress will continue to ensure that America is the best nation in the world in which to create jobs.
    •  Lower Taxes and Economic Growth
      •  In 2001, President Bush and the Republican Congress worked together to pass the most sweeping tax relief in a generation. By letting families, workers, and small business owners keep more of the money they earn, they helped bring America from recession to a steadily expanding economy. Despite enduring the after-effects of the stock market's irrational exuberance in the late 1990s, terrorist attacks on our nation, and corporate scandals that bubbled to the surface after years of inattention, the U.S. economy has now grown for 33 straight months. And unlike four years ago, there are no signs of an end to the current economic growth.
      •  The proof is in the numbers, and the numbers prove our economy is strong and growing stronger.
        •  Over the past year, gross domestic product (GDP) grew at one of the fastest rates in two decades.
        •  Without the President's tax relief, real GDP would have been more than 3 percent lower and 2 million fewer Americans would have been working at the end of last year.
        •  Since last August, 1.5 million new jobs have been created.
        •  The unemployment rate has fallen from 6.3 to 5.5 percent, which is below the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
        •  Employment over the last year is up in 46 of the 50 states, and the unemployment rate is down in 49 of the 50 states. In addition to the official figures, household surveys show that hundreds of thousands of new jobs have been created, unreported, through self-employment and by small businesses.
    •  Tax Reform
      •  Instead of being efficient, it punishes hard work, discourages savings and investment, and hinders the international competitiveness of U.S. firms.
      •  We oppose all attempts by the United Nations to impose a global tax and reject any claims of authority by United Nations to do so.
    •  Enforcing Trade Agreements and Opening New Markets
      •  International trade has become the world's most powerful economic force, and Americans are seeing great benefits from free and fair trade. Exports accounted for about 25 percent of the economic growth in the 1990s and supported about 12 million jobs. An additional 6 million jobs are made possible by companies based in foreign countries investing here in the United States. Consumers have benefited - recent trade agreements save the average family of four $2000 per year by lowering regulatory barriers, eliminating tariffs, and providing more consumer choices.
      •  Free trade must be fair trade that advances America's economic goals and protects American jobs. To achieve this goal, we must act globally, regionally, and bilaterally to negotiate new trade agreements and enforce existing trade commitments. We must be at the table when trade agreements are negotiated, make the interests of American workers and farmers paramount, and ensure that the drive to open new markets is successful. We reject moves toward economic isolationism. America is the best place in the world to do business, and our workers and products are the best in the world. On a level playing field we can outmatch any other nation. We applaud the President's actions to open foreign markets to American manufacturing products, agricultural goods, services, and intellectual property, while ensuring enforcement of trade agreements so that other nations live up to their promises.
      •  In 2000 we resolved to renew Trade Promotion Authority so the President could more easily negotiate trade agreements. In 2002 President Bush and Republicans in Congress did exactly that. After lapsing for eight years, the law now allows President Bush to work with other countries to reduce barriers to our products and services. And he is using the new authority:
        •  The Bush Administration has negotiated trade agreements with 12 countries.
        •  They have made progress on agreements with another 10 countries.
        •  These free trade partners represent $2.5 trillion in purchasing power - the equivalent of America's third-largest export market.
        •  The agreements include high levels of protection and strong enforcement
          measures for intellectual property.
        •  The Administration has also made significant progress in negotiating multi-lateral trade agreements, having just last month revived World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations for the final phase of the Doha round.
        •  The revival of these negotiations opens the door to lower tariffs on consumer and industrial goods, reductions in tariffs and trade-distorting export subsidies on agricultural products, and market access and lower regulatory barriers for services.
      •  The vitality of the U.S. trade agenda depends upon the vigorous enforcement of U.S. trade laws against unfair competition. We will not tolerate foreign practices, rules, and subsidization that put our exports and manufacturers on an unequal footing. It is not enough to secure signatures on a piece of paper; our trading partners must follow through on the promises they make.
      •  As part of its trade enforcement efforts, the Bush Administration has imposed more anti-dumping orders on average each year than the previous Administration. The United States was the first country in the world to impose a safeguard action against Chinese textile and apparel imports and to file a case against China in the WTO. China settled that case, agreeing to repeal its subsidy of semiconductors that was penalizing U.S. manufacturers. Also this year, through bilateral consultations with China, the United States resolved seven other potential trade disputes over high technology products, agriculture, and intellectual property protection.
      •  We strongly endorse the Bush Administration's unprecedented effort to persuade and encourage China to desist in its policy of manipulating its currency to give Chinese manufacturers an artificial advantage in global markets.
  •  Strengthening Our Communities
    • Health Insurance Tax Relief
      • The Trade Promotion Authority bill, supported by the Republican Congress and signed by President Bush, provides a tax credit to help workers obtain health insurance coverage if they have lost their jobs due to international trade. The tax credit has helped thousands of displaced workers get insurance coverage.
    •  Agriculture and Rural America
      •  And President Bush continues to pursue and enforce international trade agreements that affect farmers and ranchers.

Republican Fair International Trade Values


Administrative Policy Initiatives

Republican Sponsored Legislature

Judicial Cases

Advocacy Organizations

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Last modified: June 15, 2015