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Candidates' snow job on Obamatrade

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It’s election season, and that means it’s blizzard season – a blizzard of lies.


The Michigan primary made it clear that the American people reject the free trade agenda of the donor class. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders rode the anti-free trade wave to victory.


In case any of the other candidates missed the point, a poll released this week provided further evidence that fealty to the myth of free trade is a sure-fire way to lose elections.


Now that it’s clear how the American people feel, the presidential candidates are furiously trying to cover their tracks.


The first question in Thursday’s GOP debate was about trade. Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich all pretended they opposed Obamatrade, when in fact they all supported it.


In the past, John Kasich said he supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP, the globalist deal the Obama administration negotiated.


But Ohio has suffered mightily from so-called free trade deals. Voters can be expected to reject any candidate that supports more of the same, even if that candidate happens to be their governor.


Kasich knows this, so on the stump he slams “international bureaucrats” that would beat up American workers, though the TPP he supports would empower those very bureaucrats at the expense of Americans. And don’t expect Kasich to remind voters he supported NAFTA when he was a congressman.


As for Marco Rubio, he has said TPP is one of the three pillars of his foreign policy. If that weren’t bad enough, the absentee senator from Florida cast the deciding vote to give Obama fast track negotiating authority, which stripped Congress of its constitutional authority to revise whatever TPP agreement Obama sends to the Hill, and lowered the threshold of passage from 60 votes to a simple majority.


But now Rubio tries to cover his record with a snow of words about “access to foreign markets” and “we can compete against anyone in the world.”


Ted Cruz’s record is a bit more complicated – he was for Obamatrade before he was against it. He co-authored an op-ed with Paul Ryan in support of giving Obama enhanced fast track power to complete the TPP. Fast track legislation came before the Senate twice. The first time, Cruz voted for it; the second time, against. Perhaps he awoke to the poisonous politics of trade.


When asked about it in the Thursday’s debate, Cruz tap-danced. He said he always opposed the TPP, contradicting both the op-ed he wrote with Ryan, and his own website. Cruz then criticized the Trade in Services Agreement that will “allow services to come in and take jobs from Americans.” He didn’t mention that the fast track bill he once supported also expedited the Trade in Services Agreement as well as TPP.


Cruz then aped arguments the free trade apologists have been using for decades. He said we can’t use tariffs to punish trade cheaters like China because that would hurt Americans, trigger a trade war and lead to the Great Depression.


This is errant nonsense, Sen. Jeff Sessions pointed out recently. “As Mitt Romney said, in his primary eight years ago, he had a great great line I can still quote it. His line was ‘if you don’t stand up to China, they will run over you. If you stand up to China, they will say it’s a trade war, but we’re in a trade war. We’re just not fighting.’ And then he said this: ‘And anyway they have more to lose than we do.'”


Sessions continued, “When you go into a negotiation you need to know who has the upper hand. They are desperate for our markets. Some of these countries sell us all kinds of things, and they won’t even buy our chicken.”


Donald Trump knows what Mitt Romney has forgotten, and what Ted Cruz maybe never knew: We have the upper hand. And Trump understands if we threaten to place a hefty tariff on Chinese goods unless they let our products into their markets, China will fold – because they need us more than we need them.


For Trump, it’s the art of the deal. For the other candidates, it’s the art of the snow job.


Media wishing to interview Curtis Ellis, please contact media@wnd.com.


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