Powers on Trade

7 Aug

Today, Jon Powers released his trade policy. He announced this during a speech to the UAW in Lockport, where he received that union’s endorsement:

• The Free Trade Failure – Free Trade is failing our working families in America. Despite millions of jobs being sent overseas, Congress continues to pass so-called Free Trade agreements that are destroying our middle class. The American worker can compete with any worker in the world; we just need the playing field to be level. It is time that our trade deals start putting America first. My platform on trade is simple:

First, we must start to enforce labor and environmental standards in trade agreements;

Second, if that does not level the playing field, we must renegotiate the standards to make the trade agreements fair to the American worker;

Third, if we cannot renegotiate the standards, we must rescind the trade agreement and start from scratch with a new deal that is better for the American worker.

• China – Our trade deficit with China is currently $201 Billion. China’s continued currency manipulation is causing even greater trade imbalances and the worker rights violations currently taking place are egregious. In order to deal with China, the first step is to stop the currency manipulation and human rights violations. In order to do so, I support the following:

The Ryan-Hunter China Currency Act – This places a tariff on Chinese goods if the Chinese government fails to revalue its currency in a timely fashion.

Diplomacy which brings China in full compliance with international standards for worker safety and labor standards.

• No to fast-track trade deals or legislation
Congress must have more discretion than a simple yes or no vote on trade deals, especially when it comes to labor and environmental standards.

• Accountability on Trade Deals.
I will support legislation for an at-large ambassador level position whose only function is to monitor and seek enforcement of trade agreements.

• Country of Origin Labeling.
Given the repeated safety violations coming out of countries like China, knowing the origin of our food is more important than ever.

I will stand up to Washington lobbyists and demand that consumers are given the information they are entitled to so they can make safe choices for their families.

• Increased Screening of Food Imported into the United States
Americans also deserve to know that their food is safe. As the danger to America’s food supply is clearly increasing, the FDA plans to close more than half the laboratories that test food safety and let foreign companies monitor themselves. Currently, the FDA only has inspectors at 1/3 of U.S. Ports even though food can come into any port.

I will fix this by only allowing food to be imported to ports with inspectors and require all safety testing be done either by the government or trusted independent labs.

39 Responses to “Powers on Trade”

  1. Russell August 7, 2008 at 11:17 am #

    It’s about time. Now we can actually discuss something substantive around Jonny Powers.

    I’m not an expert on trade policy, but I have studied some rules and regulations. I think some of the things he’s proposing would be violations of the World Trade Organization. These could lead to fines and sanctions. Even if they’re not violations, they most certainly will lead to trade wars. Most tariffs are illegal and most Non-tariff Trade Barriers are as well.

    While some of these provisions might protect American workers, especially union members, they’d hurt the American consumer who is already paying higher prices at the grocery store. Implementing policies that would clearly drive those prices even higher is not going to help the middle class whose grocery budget is already stretched.

  2. Jackson Smiles August 7, 2008 at 11:18 am #

    I am glad to see a trade idea better than Jack Davis’s — ASIA BAD — stand point.

    I’m suprised Davis hasn’t ripped off “I think I’m turning Japanese, I think I’m turning Japanese I really think so… vote for Davis please, vote for Davis please, he really likes jobs…”

    Go Powers! Another fine example how he’s the only candidate who is talking about what he will do in Washington instead of pointing the fingers.

  3. Russell August 7, 2008 at 11:38 am #

    Yeah, Jonny really narrowed it down from “ASIA BAD” to “CHINA BAD”. Good for him.

  4. Derek J. Punaro August 7, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    Translation: “Since we’ve regulated ourselves out of competition with the rest of the world, we’ll try to force our regulations on everyone else to ‘level the playing field.'”

    It won’t work. The global economy is not going to go away and you can’t put up “trade border fences” to stop it. It’s trade isolationism. U.S. governmental bodies should have one goal – getting out of the way of businesses to drive costs down, and U.S. businesses should again focus on making products that compete on quality rather than price. Increasing transportation costs may end up making cheap overseas goods not quite as cheap anymore.

  5. Jackson Smiles August 7, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    So Derek you want to force business to make better quality — meaning more restrictions at home???

    How about we don’t force China (and all other countries in the world) to do anything, if they want to compete in our market place they have to have quality products too and quality wages so that if they do want to compete in America they ahve to make sure their people won’t be making shoes in a sweat shop, and then we dont have to give billions in aide to these same countries.

    Business should make better quality – which means people need to buy their products, put consumers are price shoppers and if “made in china” means $ 10 less – a lot of americans will buy it. But what if that China factory had to pay a worker $ 8 an hour instead of $ 2 and increase quality? and then both the USA products cost the same amount of money…then that same consumer would probably by USA – agreed?

    What about those people who buy stuff and don’t know it’s from China,or Liberia, any other country, but it has an American flag on the box? I’ve bought stuff made in another country… and I was shocked to find it was made in another country.

    and Russell — clean your glasses. I’m amazing at how terrible your reading comprehension is.

  6. Jackson Smiles August 7, 2008 at 12:06 pm #

    The Ryan Hunter China Currency Act should be expended to all foreign trade countries in my opinion.

    What’s Lee’s trade policy? Oh wait… he doesn’t know yet. He’s already lost WNY hundreds of jobs when mommy & daddy sold the family business so he could get his millions.

  7. Russell August 7, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    What did I miss, Jackson?

    Now that you’re on the “CHINA BAD” bandwagon, how can the US legislate that China pay its workers $8 an hour rather than $2? (If those are the right numbers and would make a difference.)

  8. Facts Plz August 7, 2008 at 12:46 pm #

    Say Jackson, in your zeal to pander Jon to the unwitting, you seem to throw out a lot of hot button statements.

    Could you please provide the facts that back up your claim that WNY lost “hundreds of jobs” when the Lee family business was sold? In other words, what company in WNY shut its doors and moved out of wny resulting in the job losses you keep triggering off?

  9. mike hudson August 7, 2008 at 12:54 pm #

    wow…this sounds exactly like jack davis’s trade policy, which a bunch of robot-like powers supporters characterized as “protectionism” only yesterday on this site.

    this laughable effort to change the subject after yesterday’s revelations is, um, laughable.

    powers is toast, burnt to a well-deserved crisp.

  10. Mike In WNY August 7, 2008 at 12:55 pm #

    Derek, nice to see some common sense in this thread.

    Anyone who believes we have a free-trade policy now, believes whatever the politicians spew daily. Casting blame on a mythical trade deficit is nothing more than a sound byte designed to make the pols appear to know what they are talking about. Goods, and or services, are exchanged for currency. It is a win-win situation. The only way to have a trade deficit is if we shipped goods overseas and received nothing in return.

    Also, it is not up to us to dictate wages and working conditions in other countries. That is something that develops naturally from the people, that is why they are called developing countries. The U.S. was once a developing country, other countries did not have to regulate working condition here for improvements to occur. Most attempts to enforce “fair trade” actually do more damage than good. People who buy “fair trade” coffee and other products are deluding themselves and unnecessarily paying higher prices. Often times the companies designatied as “fair trade” companies receive the designation based on politics. Many small, independent growers are unable to receive the special designation and suffer more economic harm from our refusal to buy from them. The next time you sip your “fair trade” coffee, think about the people starving because they lack the political connections to be a favored trading partner.

    Expaning the FDA is a joke, for 2 months we were subjected to the killer tomatoes, when it was really the jalapeno peppers. It is a good thing I didn’t know the jalapenos were dangerous, I ate numerous raw ones and survived to talk about it.

    Johnny boy finally comes up with a semi-concrete plan, and it sucks.

  11. Dan Meyer August 7, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    I see that Russell and Mike in WNY keep calling him either “Jonny” or “Johnny Boy.”

    Are those digs at Powers in terms of his age?

    When are people going to start calling Jack Davis either “Jackie” or “Jacky?”

    Just wondering out loud…

  12. Librul Murkin August 7, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Certainly at some point Powers must have insulted them personally. Right? Anyone?

  13. Mike August 7, 2008 at 1:38 pm #

    Where is that jerk-off hank? Another black eye for veterans,he must be in the unemployment line by now.

  14. Moons Over My Hammy August 7, 2008 at 2:04 pm #

    The Geek is back!

    http://www.buffalogeek.wnymedia.net/2008/08/06/powers-campaign-stumbles-and-bumbles/

  15. lulu August 7, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    Dan, I commented on Russell’s use of “Jonny” on a previous post regarding his age and never received a proper response. I asked Russell why he referred to Mr. Powers as Jonny but to Mr. Davis as Mr. Davis and he responded “because I like to call him Jonny”. Troll.

    I believe Jon Powers will work harder and accomplish more in the few remaining years we have this seat than any of the other candidates. That is why I support him.

  16. Russell August 7, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    I’ve never called Jack Davis “Mr. Davis”. If you’d feel better it I call him Jackie Boy or Jackie Jacko, maybe I will. What difference does it make and why do you care?

    What makes you believe Jonny would work hard in office? He sure isn’t working hard on the campaign. Many have acknowledged my charge that he has very little to show for his time and money with only about a month to the election. It’s the source of Geek’s frustration and now it’s becoming BP’s. This is not the definition of hard work.

  17. hank August 7, 2008 at 3:29 pm #

    Mike–I was scratching my nutsack–you really need to shave, you’re giving my scrotum a rash when it bounces off your chin, ya fucking twit.

    I’m just enjoying myself, watching 2 more democrats scratch at each other like a couple of cats in a gunny sack, and teabagging your chin at the same time. Can’t beat it with a stick.

    And I’m NOT in the unemployment line–just got a raise. Didn’t need a Union to get one either. Didn’t even ask–they just gave it to me. Of course since I work for a FOR PROFIT BUSINESS and NOT THE GOVERNMENT, the owners are all Conservatives, and make no bones about it.

  18. mike hudson August 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    HERE’S THE ACTUAL PRESS RELEASE, SO WE CAN DISCUSS THE REAL THING RATHER THAN PUNDIT’S WATERED DOWN VERTSON. EVERYBODY IN TOWN GOT IT BEFORE LUNCH TODAY.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
    August 7, 2008

    CONTACT:

    Victoria Dillon, Communications Director

    716-633-6068/ victoriadillon@powersforcongress.com

    POWERS RECEIVES ENDORSEMENT OF UNITED AUTO WORKERS

    Endorsement Ads to Overwhelming Labor Support

    WILLIAMSVILLE, NY – Jon Powers, Iraq War Veteran and the endorsed Democratic candidate in New York’s 26th congressional district, received the endorsement of the United Auto Workers in front of the Delphi Thermal Plant in Lockport this morning.

    Joined by almost 50 members of the UAW, Powers joined with local workers to discuss keeping good paying jobs here in Western New York and creating a level playing field in international trade.

    “We need folks like Jon in Congress,” said Sam Williams, Community Action Program Director of UAW Region 9, New York State. “I know that Jon will not only work on behalf of the working men and women of the 26th district, but he will stand up for all of us across the country. He’s the kind of leader we will be proud to send to Washington.”

    “The men and women of the UAW represent the hard work and dedication that Western New Yorkers are so proud of,” said Powers. “I am honored to have their support. I look forward to working with them in Congress to bring our voices back to Washington and keep good jobs here in Western New York.”

    Powers released his trade policy today which emphasizes a level playing field for American workers as they compete in a global economy.

    He is the only candidate with the support of organized labor. Powers has the support of:

    § New York State AFL-CIO

    § W.N.Y. Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

    § Western New York Council of the Communications Workers of America

    § American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 264

    § American Postal Workers, Rochester S/C Area Local

    § Boilermakers, Local 7

    § Buffalo County Building Trades

    § Buffalo Professional Firefighters Association, Local 282

    § Communication Workers of America

    § International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 86

    § International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Joint Council No. 46

    § International Longshoremen’s Association

    § International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots

    § International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local 3

    § International Union of Painters & Allied Trades, District 4

    § National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 3

    § New York State AFL-CIO

    § New York State Council of Machinists

    § Niagara County Building Trades

    § Plumbers & Steamfitters, Local 22

    § Rochester and Genesee Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

    § Rochester Building Trades Council

    § Service Employees International Union, Local 1199

    § Sheet Metal Workers, Local 46

    § Transport Workers Union of America

    § Union of Needle Workers & Textile Employees, Hotels & Restaurants

    § United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1

    § United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers Industrial Union, District 4

    § United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1

    # # #

    Creating a Level Playing Field
    Trade Policy

    · The Free Trade Failure – Free Trade is failing our working families in America. Despite millions of jobs being sent overseas, Congress continues to pass so-called Free Trade agreements that are destroying our middle class. The American worker can compete with any worker in the world; we just need the playing field to be level. It is time that our trade deals start putting America first. The Powers platform on trade is simple:

    · First, we must start to enforce labor and environmental standards in trade agreements;

    · Second, if that does not level the playing field, we must renegotiate the standards to make the trade agreements fair to the American worker;

    · Third, if we cannot renegotiate the standards, we must rescind the trade agreement and start from scratch with a new deal that is better for the American worker.

    · China – Our trade deficit with China is currently $201 Billion. China’s continued currency manipulation is causing even greater trade imbalances and the worker rights violations currently taking place are egregious. In order to deal with China, the first step is to stop the currency manipulation and human rights violations. In order to do so, Powers supports the following:

    · The Ryan-Hunter China Currency Act – This places a tariff on Chinese goods if the Chinese government fails to revalue its currency in a timely fashion.

    · Diplomacy which brings China in full compliance with international standards for worker safety and labor standards.

    · No to fast-track trade deals or legislation

    · Congress must have more discretion than a simple yes or no vote on trade deals, especially when it comes to labor and environmental standards.

    · Accountability on Trade Deals

    · Powers will support legislation for an at-large ambassador level position whose only function is to monitor and seek enforcement of trade agreements.

    · Country of Origin Labeling

    · Given the repeated safety violations coming out of countries like China, knowing the origin of our food is more important than ever.

    · Powers will stand up to Washington lobbyists and demand that consumers are given the information they are entitled to so they can make safe choices for their families.

    · Increased Screening of Food Imported into the United States

    · Americans deserve to know that their food is safe. As the danger to America’s food supply is clearly increasing, the FDA plans to close more than half the laboratories that test food safety and let foreign companies monitor themselves. Currently, the FDA only has inspectors at 1/3 of U.S. Ports even though food can come into any port.

    · Powers will fix this by only allowing food to be imported to ports with inspectors and require all safety testing be done either by the government or trusted independent labs.

  19. Mike In WNY August 7, 2008 at 4:18 pm #

    Dan, “Johnny Boy” has no bearing on his age, I just think he is totally useless as far as government goes. Perhaps “Union Boy” would be a more fitting moniker.

  20. mike hudson August 7, 2008 at 4:44 pm #

    look….the guy’s a fucking lightweight who was accused on the front page of the paper of record of taking $77.000 out of the mouths of iraqi war orphans and hasn’t yet offered a denial.since the aricle appeared, his campaign has responded by accusing his opponent’s campaign of minor election law violations, announced that some women somewhere like him and trumpeted his endorsement by the union at a soon-to-be bankrupt factory out in lockport.

    pundit hasn’t told you this, but powers has refused to answer inquiries put forth by pundit, who has been carrying jonny no-powers’ water for two years.

    powers took $77,000 out of the mouths of war orphans in iraq in order to pay his own bills and pundit seems to think that somehow makes him an admirable man, worthy of servving in the united states congress. so do a number of other brain-dead, knee jerk lefty dems such as himself. fortunately, while i’ve voted democratic in every presidential election save one since 1976, i have never aligned myself with that nauseating branch of the family.

    and let’s face it, asking us to vote for michael dukakis was way outta line. i believe i slammed my hand in a car door that day instead.

    peace dudes!

  21. Joe Blow August 7, 2008 at 5:51 pm #

    “Free” trade as we know it is a complete failure and an utter sham propagated by the corporate media elites. Average Americans know better because they have suffered the consequences of “free” trade over the past 35 years no matter what the corporate spin on the subject is.

    There is nothing wrong with open trade with Germany, France and Japan where living standards are equal and sometimes greater than in America. Competing on quality is a positive. If the Japanese can build better cars, then so be it. Because Japanese Auto workers actually earn more than U.S. Auto workers.

    But the way we have implemented “free” trade with China, Mexico, and other low-wage nations was designed ONLY as a means to find the cheapest labor available. This is an abhorrent, immoral, despicable legacy of economic treason.

  22. mike August 7, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    We all know this joe blow, but the walmart republicans like Hank love spending their nickels at the walmart. So we all suffer just so hank can buy his sweat shop made wife beaters.

  23. Joe Blow August 7, 2008 at 7:24 pm #

    I’m sure Hank never worked a real job in his life, as he has so much time to spend here.

    But anyway, it is quite true that people like getting cheap crap at Wal Mart. But they like having decent jobs better.

  24. Denizen August 7, 2008 at 7:44 pm #

    Agree with Joe Blow.

    Anyone who buys into the “free trade is awesome for the US” meme is a fucking tool. The anarcho-social darwinistic economic ideals espoused by so -called “libertarians” and “conservatives” have proven highly corrosive to civilized societies. The only beneficiaries of offshored labor is the already-rich executive/investor class. Savings from using dirt-cheap labor are used by the super-wealthy to further enrich themselves at the expensive of everyone else.

    “U.S. businesses should again focus on making products that compete on quality rather than price.”

    Derek, you obviously don’t understand how American business works. US corps typically don’t deviate much from their tried-n-true model: making the crappiest products possible they think the sheeple will unquestionably buy until their sleazy “creative” accountants finally admit the company is go bankrupt and then proceed to cry to papa ‘gumbent for a big fat bailout. American business culture is all about greed and cheap gimmicks; quality, ethics, or any form of social responsibility be damned.

    America is fucked. Maybe you and Mike Rebmann can be the first guinea pigs to test out how a society without any laws would turn out.

  25. mike hudson August 7, 2008 at 9:42 pm #

    has anyone mentioned that powers has been accused of taking $77,000 meant for poor iraqi war orphans and used it to PAY HIS OWN RENT?

    who gives a fuck what he thinks about free trade?

  26. SteveinDC August 8, 2008 at 8:13 am #

    Are people really that fearful of free trade? Maybe some people on here should crack open a history book and read about protectionism and the great depression because that’s what happens when policies like those proposed by Jon Powers are put in place.

    Call me a tool, but I’m also a realist and understand you can’t live in this world without free trade.

    “The anarcho-social darwinistic economic ideals espoused by so -called “libertarians” and “conservatives” have proven highly corrosive to civilized societies. The only beneficiaries of offshored labor is the already-rich executive/investor class. Savings from using dirt-cheap labor are used by the super-wealthy to further enrich themselves at the expensive of everyone else.”

    Wow, strong conspiracy theorist. Do you also believe aliens landed at Roswell and JFK was killed by the Cubans? Sounds like you’ve been brainwashed by too much liberal propaganda.

  27. Russell August 8, 2008 at 8:16 am #

    I’m glad Joe Blow and Denizen know so much more than economists like Adam Smith and Milton Friedman. I hope the Nobel Committee gets wind of this so they can take away Friedman’s prize and award it to you two. I guess it was all just a corporate scam.

    None of this changes the fact that much of what Jonny proposed is illegal or impossible and will never go anywhere.

  28. DJ August 8, 2008 at 8:43 am #

    DCSteve , I don’t need to “crack open a history book” and read anything , I just need to look at the vacant factories and under/unemployed citizens to see the effect of free trade.

    Punaro : “U.S. businesses should again focus on making products that compete on quality rather than price…”

    So let me get this straight – people buy cheap Chinese crap because it is of superior quality ? Bullshit.

  29. Jackson Smiles August 8, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    How can you say he took 77 k out of the mouths of Iraqi children when in the same breath say financial information isn’t available?

    Hmmm… maybe that number came from Davis or Lee? hmmm… maybe they’d make it up?

    You are a really stupid f*ck.

  30. Jackson Smiles August 8, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    mike hudson — what the f*ck did you do for war orphans?

    nothing — you sat on your fat *ss looking at internet porn and jerking off.

    At least the guy tried to do something — even if the 77K is a real amount (which it prb came from Davis or Lee) the guy then averaged a WNY salary and became a leading expert on youth in iraq and almost got congress to give millions to the youth.

    But wait — the administratioin took BILLIONS out of the mouths of Iraqi kids and gave it to companies owned by their friends (ehem – Dick Cheney). Why don’t you care? Because you supporter them and you’re an *sshole.

    What have you done recently for the problem of orphans? you’re so consernder yet you’d rather knock someone who did a good deed then get off your *ss and do something about it

    you are the worst kind of human being.

  31. Jackson Smiles August 8, 2008 at 12:54 pm #

    check out a great blog posted today or yesterday:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/7/175427/5508

    looks like someone has the real facts — and it’s not McCarthy — or Davis or Lee and their croonies!!!!!

  32. Russell August 8, 2008 at 2:13 pm #

    Jackson, you should take this up with Jonny and his campaign. The information is out there in a credible source. He has not challenged it and the News has not retracted it. I do not know where it came from, but I know I got it from the News.

  33. Buffalopundit August 8, 2008 at 2:26 pm #

    @Russell, did you somehow miss the post from yesterday or my comment from earlier today? He not only challenged it, but debunked it. Thanks. Nice try, though, being all outraged by something that isn’t as it was reported. But I know the News never gets anything even remotely wrong.

  34. hank August 8, 2008 at 2:30 pm #

    Joe Blow—BLOW ME. I’ve been working since I started delivering the Bufalo Evening News at age 11. That’s 41 years of work. I’ll bet in 1968 you weren’t even thought of yet, and you would be much more of a man if the best parts of you ran down the crack of your mama’s ass and made some beige stain on the mattress.

    Come on out behind your ignorant handle and act like you were given a pair at birth, which I currently doubt strongly.

  35. Mike August 8, 2008 at 3:18 pm #

    So hank, are you still delivering papers? And for your ignorant post, did you over hear it at the play ground?

  36. Denizen August 8, 2008 at 3:19 pm #

    @SteveinDC

    Let me get this straight. You’re calling social inequality a “conspiracy theory”?? Man, it looks like you are the one who needs to crack open a history book.

  37. SteveinDC August 8, 2008 at 9:00 pm #

    No Denizen, I’m arguing that more than just the super rich benefit from free trade as someone put it before. We all benefit from free trade in some way, its basic economics. If we still had to make our sneakers, we wouldn’t be able to devote so many resources to bio tech or some other industry. Also, the history book crack was at the protectionist argument and how well that worked out in the past…

    btw…The jobs argument is pretty lame too. Yeah jobs get sent to Mexico, China and India. But free trade also allows foreign companies to invest money. Remember all those call centers going to India? Well some are coming back here because its too expensive to operate in India. Toyota has huge plants in Mississippi. Just because you see idle factories here may be more of a reflection of the Buffalo Niagara region rather than free trade. Point is, just because its not here doesn’t mean it isn’t beneficial.

    More than 5.5 million Americans are employed by foreign companies alone according to a recent CRS report. That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Think of how many jobs are created by it. Free trade really is a no brainer.

  38. Denizen August 9, 2008 at 4:43 am #

    SteveinDC, you still haven’t answered my question. Is social inequality really a conspiracy theory?

  39. SteveinDC August 9, 2008 at 8:31 am #

    I never said it was. read the above post. There will always be some sort of social inequity no matter what type of society you live in. Free trade isn’t the cause of it.

    Again, the conspiracy theory is that free-trade only benefits the super rich and the “investor” class.

Contribute To The Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: