Your Vote counts, Please vote, its your State and your Nation.

Your Vote counts, Please vote, its your State and your Nation.

The Colorado Chapter of The Coalition for a Prosperous America asked five questions of each of the Republican Party Primary election candidates in Congressional District 5 as part of a survey. The candidates were asked for their response and knowledge on current economy and trade issues. They were also informed that their views, ideas, research and or opinions in the responses would be published so as to help educate the public and the voters in district 5. Below are the responses and information from that survey and in exact format sent after completion of the survey by
A. Congressman Lamborn declined to respond. I called to confirm receipt of the questionnaire and forwarding for response. When no response was received, I called twice to confirm that no response would be received and that the campaign was explicitly declining to respond. Explicit decisions not to respond are responses.

B. General Rayburn’s staff stated that they do not have the time to respond until after the primary election is completed.

C. Candidate Jeff Crank responded promptly, as follows:

1. Do you support the Colombia, South Korea and/or Panama Free Trade Agreement? Please explain why or why not.

Each of these agreements must be balanced and provide a level playing field for America. I will support any free trade agreement that allows American companies to compete fairly in the global marketplace. At the same time I will oppose poorly negotiated trade deals that do not respect the rule of law, intellectual property rights, or the ability of America to compete on a level playing field. I will evaluate each of the above agreements based on the proposed criteria.

2. Do you consider currency misalignment a trade problem? Please explain why or why not.

Currency manipulation and misalignment distort the trade and price markets. The devaluation of the dollar is in part a reflection of the manipulation of foreign currencies, particularly China’s. China maintains a weak Yuan by purchasing US dollars, thus keeping their currency artificially weak as compared to the US dollar. This is tantamount to China issuing America an unlimited line of credit on its products at a huge discount. Undervalued currencies function as export subsidies. This manipulation makes foreign products more affordable in America, while goods produced in America become more expensive overseas. This distorts the market against American producers and contributes significantly to our trade imbalance and the loss of manufacturing jobs here in America. The net result is an increased trade imbalance and the loss of manufacturing jobs here in America. We must stand up to China and work to end this currency manipulation. One remedy I would support is legislation along the lines of H.R. 2492, which would use existing law and enforcement policies to crack down on unfair currency manipulation.

3. Do you believe that balancing the U.S. trade deficit is a top priority? Please explain why or why not.

Yes. I believe reducing and eventually eliminating the trade deficit is a priority. We cannot continue to ship hundreds of billions of dollars per year overseas. This is essentially a transfer of wealth overseas. As China and other countries collect dollars, they lend them back to the U.S. government to finance our national debt (cutting deficit spending is a major priority of mine as well). Eventually, a day of reckoning will occur.

4. Do you believe that border adjustable taxes, imposed upon U.S. exports to other countries and rebated by foreign governments to their domestic exporters, is a trade problem? Please explain why or why not.

Absolutely. America’s tax policy punishes savings, investment, and domestic production. We need to move toward some sort of consumption-based tax in the near future, so producers of goods and services in America can compete on an equal footing. This is a matter of fairness, but it is also a matter of improving America’s business climate vis-à-vis the rest of the world. Our corporate tax rates, among the highest in the world, punish success and domestic jobs.

5. Do you believe U.S. trade policy, of which trade agreements are a subset, is on the wrong or right track? Please explain why or why not.

First of all, I want to make clear that I am not a protectionist. I believe the economic success of other countries is an opportunity for American producers. It would be a mistake for America to return to the days of Smoot-Hawley, which contributed to the 1930’s Great Depression. Free trade – truly free trade – is a good thing. In fact, I believe we should work with some of our best and trustworthy trade partners to bring down all tariffs and trade barriers. That said, our trade policy needs to reward good trading partners and hold accountable countries that play by different rules. When America opens up its markets, we have to ensure reciprocity. We need to utilize and enforce common definitions and common standards. Therefore, I believe our current trade policy, which permits some countries to take advantage of our open markets without insisting on reciprocity, is bad policy.