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Issue Position: Foreign Affairs & Trade

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When it comes to Congressional actions that affect our relationships with foreign governments and citizens, I believe that U.S. policy should reflect the same principles that drive our domestic policy: respect for differences, care for humanitarian needs, and commitment to peace and improving the lives of all people. I am honored to be a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; where I serve on the International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight Subcommittee as well as the Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee.

I authored legislation that upholds the concept of a Global Marshall Plan as a vision for restructuring our commitment to international development and for the United States' restored influence of goodwill in the world. The Global Marshall Plan, first devised by Vice-President Al Gore, is a new plan for foreign development assistance that calls for the U.S. to invest 1-2% of our country's Gross Domestic Product into aid to poor countries across the globe. This follows in the footsteps of the Marshall Plan that was so effective following World War II.

Unfortunately, the push for free trade in this global economy is far too often an economic race to the bottom with developing countries outbidding each other to provide labor at the lowest wage possible. This frequently results in good paying jobs being outsourced from the United States to developing nations with abusive working conditions and poor or non-existent environmental protections.

I believe trade between the nations of the world can help promote not only economic growth but also democratic values. However, this is only accomplished when the value of trade is measured by asking whether or not this commerce improves the quality of life for the citizens of each nation. This is especially true when our trading partners are developing countries. I believe trade deals must be negotiated not only for the benefit of the United States, but for the benefit of all countries involved. That is why I believe in fair trade and not simply free trade.


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