Tom Vilsack on Free Trade
Democratic IA Governor
Worked on building sales, consumer trust in U.S. dairy
Tom Vilsack became president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) in February 2017. Vilsack provides strategic leadership and oversight of
USDEC's global promotional and research activities, regulatory affairs and trade policy initiatives. This includes working with industry leaders to develop a long-term vision for building sales and consumer trust in U.S. dairy.
Source: FeedingAmerica.org press release on Biden Administration
, Dec 18, 2020
Government negotiations facilitate favorable trade
The US Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Office of the US Trade Representative reached agreement with South Africa to allow most US exports of poultry, pork and beef and their products to re-gain access to the South African market.
The regained access for American meat and poultry exports is the culmination of months of hard work by USDA and USTR staff. Strong agricultural exports contribute to a positive US trade balance, create jobs and boost economic growth.
Source: Obama Cabinet: USDA press release, "South Africa"
, Dec 30, 2012
Build a rule-based global trading system.
Vilsack signed the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":
Write New Rules for the Global Economy
The rise of global markets has undermined the ability of national governments to control their own economies. The answer is neither global laissez faire nor protectionism but a Third Way: New international rules and institutions to ensure that globalization goes hand in hand with higher living standards, basic worker rights, and environmental protection. U.S. leadership is crucial in building a rules-based global trading system as well as international structures that enhance worker rights and the environment without killing trade. For example, instead of restricting trade, we should negotiate specific multilateral accords to deal with specific environmental threats.
Goals for 2010
Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC1 on Aug 1, 2000
- Conclude a new round of trade liberalization under the auspices of the World Trade Organization.
- Open the WTO, the World Bank, and International Monetary Fund to wider participation and scrutiny.
- Strengthen the International Labor Organization’s power to enforce core labor rights, including the right of free association.
- Launch a new series of multinational treaties to protect the world environment.
Rescinded state commitment under CAFTA.
Vilsack is profiled in ALIPAC report on Governors
States' commitments under CAFTA:
Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC) compiled a list of the status of each of the 50 states with regards to CAFTA procurement. For states that have rescinded their commitment, we infer that the incumbent governor strongly opposes CAFTA (because the state made a commitment and then un-made it). For states that declined to commit, we infer that the incumbent governor somewhat opposes CAFTA. For states that committed, we infer that the incumbent governor supports CAFTA.
CAFTA is the Central American Free Trade Agreement. CAFTA expands NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement, between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico) to five Central American nations (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua), and the Dominican Republic. It passed Congress on July 27, 2005.
Opposition to CAFTA procurement rules (by Public Citizen):
Should an international trade agreement determine how we are allowed to spend our domestic tax dollars? Prior to the passage of CAFTA, the majority of state governments agreed: Subjecting decisions about how to spend state taxpayer dollars to second-guessing by foreign trade tribunals is a bad idea! As a result, a bi-partisan group of governors withdrew their initial agreement to bind their states to comply with CAFTA's procurement rules. Many other governors simply avoided binding their states to CAFTA's procurement rules in the first place. Common state economic development and environmental policies are prohibited by trade agreement procurement rules include:
Source: Americans for Legal Immigration PAC report 14_Lt_FT on Aug 7, 2005
- Measures to stop the offshoring of state jobs;
- "Buy Local" or "Buy America" policies;
- Preferences for recycled content, renewable energy, and alternative fuel vehicles.
Ease Canadian border-crossing rules.
Vilsack signed the Midwestern Governors' Conference resolution:
Source: Resolution of Midwestern Governors' Conf. on Canadian Border 98-MGC3 on May 12, 1998
- WHEREAS, the United States and Canada share the longest undefended border in the world; and
- WHEREAS, the United States and Canada have the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world, exceeding $1 billion every day; and
- WHEREAS, the rate of cross-border traffic is steadily increasing, with billions of dollars worth of goods and tens of millions of American and Canadian citizens crossing the land border each year; and
- WHEREAS, Section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 requires the U.S. Attorney General to develop an automated entry-exit control system to register “all aliens” entering and departing the United States; and
- WHEREAS, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service has indicated that it cannot meet the September 30, 1998 deadline for implementing the entry and exit tracking system
and that it does not have the appropriation necessary to put the system in place; and
- WHEREAS, this system will place an unmanageable requirement on border-crossing services, impose serious delays at the Canada-U.S. land border and result in unintended negative consequences for international trade, tourism, and the economies in our region; and
- WHEREAS, reports about serious congestion at the Canada - U.S. border have generated concern and uncertainty in the business community; now therefore be it
- RESOLVED, that the Midwestern Governors’ Conference calls on Congress and the President to work to enact legislation this year that suspends implementation of Section 110 until they can ensure that any entry-exit control system, if deemed necessary, does not distrupt trade, tourism or other legitimate cross border traffic at land border points of entry.
Grant fast-track authority to the President.
Vilsack signed the Midwestern Governors' Conference resolution:
Source: Resolution of Midwestern Governors' Conf. on Agri. Trade 99-MGC4 on Nov 19, 1999
- WHEREAS, The Midwestern Governors’ Conference (MGC) has recognized that agriculture producers are primarily family-owned farms and cannot compete against trade barriers such as prohibitive tariffs, excessive requirements for food items unrelated to the safety of the product, and the continued existence of state trading enterprises; and
- WHEREAS, Markets such as Europe are not approving US agricultural technology rapidly enough to allow for US products to stay competitive; now therefore be it
- RESOLVED, The MGC is committed to ensuring US agricultural exports are able to move freely in all foreign markets in order to strengthen the economic situation of the agriculture industry;
- RESOLVED, That because the Seattle Ministerial is seen as a unique opportunity to highlight American agricultural products to the WTO delegates
and to insure that agriculture trade issues are not left unresolved as in previous international trade negotiations, the MGC urge US negotiators to refrain from finalizing any sector agreements, until all sector agreements are successfully negotiated;
- RESOLVED, That the MGC call upon Congress to support fast-track authority to be granted to the President;
- RESOLVED, That the MGC call for the elimination of foreign export subsidies, dumping activities, and unjustified import quotas and include these issues in negotiations with the WTO;
- RESOLVED, That the MGC urge that the United States Trade Representative focus WTO agricultural negotiations on gaining approval for new US agricultural products and technology in other markets; and
- RESOLVED, That the MGC call for the establishment of a speedy resolution process within the WTO for addressing the issues of non-tariff barriers.
Page last updated: Jul 13, 2021