Jul 29, 2019

Warren proposes trade overhaul with strict preconditions for all countries

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren has released a trade plan that would set up standards countries must meet as a precondition for any trade agreement, and she vows to renegotiate existing deals to meet that criteria.

Why it matters: President Trump’s approach to trade has upended traditional partisan divisions on the issue, shifting Republicans in favor of more restrictionist trade policies and Democrats toward defending free trade. This dynamic gives 2020 Democratic candidates an opportunity to implement a large-scale shift on an important policy issue for the party.

Details: Some of the standards Warren outlined include:

  • Recognizing and enforcing the core labor rights of the International Labour Organization, like collective bargaining and the elimination of child labor.
  • Upholding internationally recognized human rights, as reported in the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights.
  • Be a party to the Paris Climate agreement and have a long-term, national and verified plan to reduce emissions.
  • Eliminate all domestic fossil fuel subsidies.

Between the lines: Warren's proposal criticizes free trade deals made for the sake of opening up markets, and also goes after the Trump administration for lacking a clear, long-term strategy.

  • As an alternative to these approaches, which Warren describes as "undemocratic and obviously corrupt," she would mandate that trade negotiators publish a draft of their proposals in the Federal Register and let the public offer comments on the draft before a policy is made law.

Below: Read the full policy proposal, which outlines specific trade goals regarding labor, antitrust, climate change, prescription drugs, agriculture, and consumer protection.

Go deeper: Elizabeth Warren on the issues, in under 500 words

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Debate night: Warren and Sanders vs. the moderates

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders joined forces to back Medicare for All, decriminalizing immigration, a trade policy that favors working Americans, and the Green New Deal proposal at Tuesday's Democratic debate, as Warren denounced former Rep. John Delaney and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper of using "Republican talking points."

Why it matters: Tuesday's debate underscored the field's divide, as progressives Warren and Sanders set themselves against the rest of the Democratic candidates, many of whom support more moderate health care policies like a public option or an expansion of the Affordable Care Act. They also disagreed with Warren and Sanders on immigration, trade, and taking on President Donald Trump in the general election.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jul 31, 2019

Warren takes a swipe at Biden in front of record crowd in Seattle

Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at the Democratic National Committee's Aug. 23 meeting. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren outlined her economic credentials and took a swipe at Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden when asked how she'd defeat President Trump, as she drew the largest crowd of her campaign Sunday in Seattle, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The perception is that as a former vice president, Biden is the most electable candidate, which is central to his enduring strength, Bloomberg notes. Indeed, Jill Biden urged Democrats at a campaign event last week to think about the electability of candidates. Your candidate may be better on a policy issue, but the bottom line is "we have to beat Trump," she said.

Go deeperArrowAug 26, 2019

China trade war: White House clarifies Trump comments about "second thoughts"

President Donald Trump attends a bilateral meeting at the G7 summit in France. Photo: Dylan Martinez/Pool/Getty Images

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham clarified remarks that President Trump made at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, in which he appeared to express regret about the United States' escalating trade war with China.

"The President was asked if he had ‘any second thought on escalating the trade war with China.' His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative — because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher."
Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 25, 2019