Hayes Plays Politics While Chinese Continue Assault on American Workers
On Tuesday, just as news that the United States lost an average of $5 billion a week in its trade balance with China in April was released, Robin Hayes and his campaign launched a misleading, negative television campaign against candidate Larry Kissell. Whether intended as diversion from the bad economic news or simply to serve as a statement that Hayes has lost interest in any aspect of politics other than the cheap attack, the timing of the two events only stands to highlight that Washington has changed Robin Hayes.
According to a Bloomberg report issued June 10, "The U.S. trade deficit widened in April as the surging cost of oil boosted imports to a record," the report states. The trade gap with China increased to $20.2 billion in April (a 25.9 percent increase from the previous month) as imports from that country jumped 16 percent while exports fell 11 percent, the report concludes.
"When Robin Hayes sold out the workers of the Eighth District and flip-flopped on his CAFTA promise and cast aside the interests of working families just to please President George W. Bush, he said he did so to gain leverage in America's trade policies with China," said Democratic Congressional nominee Larry Kissell. "And now the most recent available numbers indicate that our nation lost over five billion dollars a week in April as a result of that deal. Clearly the concessions Mr. Hayes bragged about at the time have never truly come to pass. It was just another of many broken promises."
In addition to the large trade imbalance with China, the Bloomberg report blames ever-escalating oil prices for the overall U.S. global trade deficit.
"Rising fuel prices will keep pushing imports higher, while a weaker dollar stimulates demand by making American-made goods more competitive. Sales abroad are one of the few bright spots in the economy as the two-year housing slump and slowdown in consumer spending cause growth to almost stall."
"Despite a weak dollar and increased sales overseas, bad trade policy and bad energy policy have conspired to erode the American middle class and the American dream," Kissell said. "Mr. Hayes has been in Congress for 10 years, under Democratic and Republican presidents and Republican and Democratic majorities in Congress. He cannot escape responsibility for the stacked deck now in play against the working families of the Eighth District. He helped stack it."
The United States Commerce Department reported Tuesday that the gap between what the nation imports and what it sells abroad rose by 7.8 percent to $60.9 billion, the largest imbalance since March, 2007. Hayes cast the deciding vote both in favor of the Central American Free Trade Agreement and Fast Track Trade Authority for President George W. Bush after saying he wouldn't support either of the trade deals. Now on the day that gasoline prices hit an all-time high and the government announces a swelling trade deficit, all Hayes can do in response is launch a cheap political attack to draw attention away from his own failed record.
Kissell is challenging Hayes, a five-term incumbent Republican. The two squared off in one of the nation's closest congressional races in 2006, with Hayes winning by a scant 329 votes.