Tim Pawlenty Claims He's For 'Fair Trade' During GOP Debate Despite Support For Free Trade Agreements


As Think Progress pointed out in their live blog:

Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) declares: “I’m for fair trade.” Only last week, Pawlenty announced part of his economic plan and said that he favors quick ramification of “free-trade deals with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.”

From the article linked above:

Pawlenty also would use “performance-based management practices” to streamline other government agencies.

And he thinks all federal regulations should be sunset, unless they’re approved by a vote of Congress. He thinks the Federal Reserve should focus only on curbing inflation and let Congress and the president worry about employment growth. He also favors quick ratifications of free-trade deals with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

So there you have it: Tim Pawlenty’s economic plan. Some may call it a fantasy, particularly the part about 10 consecutive years of 5 percent annual GDP growth, something that’s never happened.

Transcript below the fold.

KING: Governor Pawlenty, does the congressman have it right?

PAWLENTY: There's a number of things we need to do. Restore manufacturing in this country. And I grew up if in a meat packing town. I grew up in a manufacturing town. I was in a union for six or seven years.

I understand what it's like to see the blue-collar communities and the struggles that they've had when manufacturing leaves. So I've seen that firsthand. But number one, we've got to have fair trade, and what's going on right now is not fair.

I'm for a fair and open trade but I'm not for being stupid and I'm not for being a chump. And we have individuals and organizations and countries around this world who are not following the rules when it comes to fair trade. We need a stronger president and somebody who's going to take on those issues.

Number two, we need to make the costs and burdens of manufacturing in this country lower. We're asking them to climb the mountain with a big backsack full of rocks on their back. We have to take the rocks out.

One of them is Obamacare. I mean somebody in Arizona the other day. He's moving his whole company out of the country just because of Obamacare. The taxes are too high. The regulations are too heavy, the permitting is too slow, and the message everywhere around this country, from business leaders large and small, including manufacturing, is get the government off my back. As president I will.


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