International Trade is a Top Issue in Today’s South Carolina Primary

Voters in South Carolina are voting for who they think should be the nominee for each political party in this year’s presidential election. International trade is among the top issues for South Carolinian voters, since it is a state that has a seen a huge decline in manufacturing jobs over the years. Many attribute that to free trade policies. So where do the candidates stand on free trade, which may help or hurt their chances in today’s primary?

Here is a glimpse into some of their positions in their own words.

Democratic Candidates (Democratic Primary scheduled for Saturday, February 27th)

  1. Hillary Clinton on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP

2. Bernie Sanders on the TPP and fast track legislation

Republic Candidates (GOP Primary today)

1. Jeb Bush on the TPP (03:15)

2. Ted Cruz on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and the Ex-Im Bank

3. John Kasich on free trade and fair trade (Note: Kasich’s mention of “PTT” is really the TPP.)

4. Donald Trump on the TPP (Note: Discussion about China and correction by another former candidate that China is not a part of the TPP.)

5. Ben Carson on trade imbalances and trade barriers (no video, click on photo)









6. Marco Rubio on globalization, trade with Cuba and trade barriers (no video, click on photo)









Generally speaking, many of the candidates may oppose specific free trade agreements but support fair trade practices and trade policies that reduce the harm to U.S. workers. When the field narrows down to the actual nominees, ITE will offer more analysis of the nominees’ positions and what they mean for U.S. business owners of various sizes, labor and economic growth.

Which candidate do you agree/disagree with the most? What suggestions do you have for creating a successful trade policy?

About Dr. Sarita D. Jackson

is the President and CEO of the Global Research Institute of International Trade, a think-tank/consulting firm that examines trade policies and their impact on domestic businesses. Prior to heading GRIIT, Dr. Jackson was a tenured associate professor of political science in North Carolina and worked as a trade policy consultant for an Arlington-based consulting firm. She has participated in trade policy projects and conducted research on free trade negotiations in Botswana, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Panama. Dr. Jackson has also traveled to Chile and Argentina to study their political systems and economic integration policies.
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