Senator Snowe has and will put America ahead of ideology in trade policy, and has consistently recognized and worked to overturn unfair trade policies which remove jobs from American workers and export them to our competitors overseas.
- Submitted a resolution calling on China to allow true-market valuation of its currency, the lack of which currently hurts US exports to China:”China’s currency policy is an unfair manipulation which violates international trading rules and puts American manufacturers at a disadvantage. We cannot continue to allow this exploitation to continue to the detriment of our workers. Therefore, this resolution sends a strong message to the administration that we must increase our efforts to bring about a market-based valuation of China’s currency” (Congressional Record, 11/6/2003, p.S14181)
- Supported the granting of permanent Normal Trading Relations with the People’s Republic of China, but later qualified that support:”[W]e knew that China would become a major player in international markets whether we wanted them to or not. After all, China already enjoyed total access to our market while we did not have the same benefit. Perhaps most importantly, we supported PNTR because a China in the World Trade Organization is bound by the same international trade rules as the United States or any of our other trading partners. While many were optimistic about the increased market access to the world’s largest population, few dared to expect this to be an easy path.I have heard from company after company who have had to face the reality that they can no longer compete with unfairly priced Chinese products. Some argue they were forced to close their doors because of China’s low labor costs, and others argue it is the lack of labor and environmental regulations in China that makes us uncompetitive. However, the full extent of China’s advantage is the combination of an artificially undervalued currency, unfair non-tariff barriers, and low cost of production.” (Ibid., pp. S14181-S14182)
- Opposes NAFTA, CAFTA and GATT, and is undecided on the merits of the World Trade Organization.
- Joined 11 other Republicans in opposing CAFTA. Unlike Sen. McCain – who supports CAFTA, saying, “It’s important because at stake is the future of Central America in its economic and political dimensions” – Sen. Snowe is concerned that the United States has yet to see “the upside of these trade agreements.”
- Supports making a nation’s human rights record a factor in US trade policy.