Mitt Romney, Expected 2012 US Republican Nominee, on Foreign Policy and Free Trade: Michael H. Prosser, Ph.D., March 26, 2012 [Post 417]no comment
Mitt Romney, Expected 2012 US Republican Nominee, on Foreign Policy and Free Trade: Michael H. Prosser, Ph.D., March 26, 2012 [Post 417]
In the current Republican primary election, I believe that only former US Ambassador to China (2009-2011) Jon Huntsman was a worthy national candidate who understood the necessary terms of the US-Chinese relationships and potentially more broadly with US-Russia, US-Japan, US-India, US-Pakistan, US-Afghanistan, US-Iran, US-Iraq, and US-Middle East. Obviously, Republican primary voters did not see this great and sensible perspective of Huntsman’s as making him a seriously viable candidate, and he was forced to withdraw before the first quarter of the primary season had ended. No doubt, in terms of his present influence on American national strategic visions, he might indeed have provided better national leadership by remaining as the US Ambassador to China. He and Obama could have very meaningful and thoughtful debates in the autumn 2012 general election had he been elected as the Republican presidential nominee.
The statement by the current Republican front-runner in the primaries and expected nominee, Mitt Romney, “If Barack Obama is reelected, Iran will have a bomb. If I am elected president, Iran will not have a bomb,” is only one example of his foreign policy one liners, in this case, unsupported by any evidence in his bipolar statement. It is helpful, however, to see a fuller range of his ideas on foreign policy and free trade to assess his arguments as we move toward the autumn general election.
In Romney’s campaign statement “On the Values of His Foreign Policy at the CBS News/NJ Commander in Chief Debate” November 12, 2011, he made the following statement:
“My foreign policy’s pretty straightforward. I would be guided by an overwhelming conviction that this century must be an American century where America has the strongest values, the strongest economy, and the strongest military. An American century means the century where America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world. We have a president right now who thinks America’s just another nation. America is an exceptional nation. We have a president who thinks that the way to conduct foreign policy is through his personal affects on other people. I believe the way to conduct foreign policy is with American strength. Everything I do will make America stronger. And I will stand and use whatever means necessary within the law to make sure that we protect America’s citizens and Americans’ rights” (Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University. November 12, 2011).
Here are other abbreviated summary arguments by Mitt Romney in the last few years on US foreign policy [“On the Issues: Every Public Leader on Every Issue: 2012 Presidential Candidates: Mitt Romney on the Issues”]:
“Critical time for American century vs. European socialism. (Jan 2012)
Use opportunity for regime change in North Korea. (Dec 2011)
Unacceptable for Iran to become a nuclear nation. (Sep 2011)
No European-style solutions to an American problem. (Feb 2011)
Different countries’ paths to decline came from isolation. (Mar 2010)
In long term, Chinese reforms lead to demanding freedom. (Mar 2010)
Post-WWII role: defeat threats to progress of freedom. (Mar 2010)
American Exceptionalism means America need not decline. (Mar 2010)
National turnaround requires leadership; consensus; strength. (Mar 2010)
Unless US changes course, we’ll no longer be superpower. (Feb 2008)
Putin is a troubling leader and an authoritarian. (Jan 2008)
The US is the only major power believing in free enterprise. (Jan 2008)
Free Cuba and eliminate threat of people like Hugo Chavez. (Dec 2007)
2006: Blocked services for Iran’s Khatami speech at Harvard. (Aug 2007)
To win the war on jihad, we need friends in Muslim world. (Aug 2007)
Encourage others to welcome democracy, without military. (Aug 2007)
Move Muslim world toward modernity so they reject extreme. (Aug 2007)
US is not arrogant, but we have resolve. (Jun 2007)”
and Mitt Romney on Free Trade
“Open new markets to grow; but also enforce fair trade. (Feb 2012)
China’s steel dumping forced US mills to close. (Jan 2012)
We have to open up markets to America’s goods. (Jan 2012)
Trade with China only if they follow international rules. (Nov 2011)
Go to WTO about China; we’re already in a trade war. (Nov 2011)
China is a currency manipulator; go after them for cheating. (Oct 2011)
China doesn’t want to have a trade war; so push hard. (Oct 2011)
Trade is good for the nation, but not good for everybody. (Mar 2010)
Protectionism stifles productivity, under Bush AND Obama. (Mar 2010)
Re-negotiate trade deals with China and other countries. (Dec 2007)
Open up markets to American goods and services. (Oct 2007)
Businesspeople should negotiate trade, not politicians. (Oct 2007)
Emergence of Asia is an opportunity for trade and commerce. (Dec 2006)”
The following 2011-2012 quotes are taken from “Rethinking National Security: 2012 Candidate Quotes on Foreign Policy.” [Only quotes from Romney are included since all indications and statistics in delegate counts in the Republican National Primary of 2012 point to him being the Republican nominee for President in the autumn general election.]
Mitt Romney during a Republican primary debate in Washington, D. C [November 8, 2011]: “I believe America is an exceptional and unique nation. President Obama feels that we’re going to be a nation which has multipolar balancing militaries. I believe that American military superiority is the right course. President Obama says that we have people throughout the world with common interests. I just don’t agree with him. I think there are people in the world that want to oppress other people, that are evil.”
Mitt Romney during a Republican primary debate in Washington, D.C. [November 8, 2011]: “The right course in America is to stand up to Iran with crippling sanctions, indict Ahmadinejad for violating the Geneva — or the Genocide Convention, put in place the kind of crippling sanctions that stop their economy. I know it’s going to make gasoline more expensive. There’s no price which is worth an Iranian nuclear weapon.”
Mitt Romney during a Republican primary debate in Washington, D.C.: “Look, one thing you can know and that is if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon. And if we elect Mitt Romney, if you elect me as the next president, they will not have a nuclear weapon.”
Mitt Romney during a Republican primary debate in Washington, D.C. on the war in Afghanistan: “Instead, we want to draw them toward modernity. And for that to happen, we don’t want to literally pull up stakes and run out of town after the extraordinary investment that we’ve made. And that means we should have a gradual transition of handing off to the Afghan security forces the responsibility for their own country.”
Mitt Romney during a Republican primary debate in Jacksonville [Florida, January 26, 2012]: “So when [the founders] said, for instance, that the creator had “endowed us with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” I would seek to assure that those principles and values remain in America and that we help share them with other people in the world, not by conquering them, but by helping them through our trade, through our Mitt Romney during a Republican primary debate in Jacksonville [Florida]: I will use every resource we have, short of invasion and military action, Congressman Paul. I’ll use every resource we can to make sure that when Fidel Castro finally leaves this planet, that we are able to help the people of Cuba enjoy freedom. various forms of soft power, to help bring people the joy and — and — and opportunity that exists in this great land.”
Mitt Romney during an address to AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee; March 6, 2012]: “As President, I will treat our allies and friends like friends and allies. In recent days and weeks, we’ve heard a lot of words from the administration. Its clear message has been to warn Israel to consider the costs of military action against Iran. I do not believe that we should be issuing public warnings that create distance between the United States and Israel. Israel does not need public lectures about how to weigh decisions of war and peace. It needs our support.” [He also says that his first overseas visit as president would be to Jerusalem.]
Mitt Romney in an address to AIPAC: “As President, I will treat our allies and friends like friends and allies. In recent days and weeks, we’ve heard a lot of words from the administration. Its clear message has been to warn Israel to consider the costs of military action against Iran. I do not believe that we should be issuing public warnings that create distance between the United States and Israel. Israel does not need public lectures about how to weigh decisions of war and peace. It needs our support.”
Mitt Romney in his white paper [January 29, 2012]: “With the Kremlin’s leverage over the energy supplies of Central and Western Europe, its stockpile of nuclear weapons, its recent history of aggressive military action, and the power it wields in multilateral institutions like the United Nations, Russia is a destabilizing force on the world stage. It needs to be tempered.”
Mitt Romney in his white paper: “Mitt Romney will never make national-security decisions based upon electoral politics. Upon taking office, he will review our transition to the Afghan military by holding discussions with our commanders in the field. He will order a full interagency assessment of our military and assistance presence in Afghanistan to determine the level required to secure our gains and to train Afghan forces to the point where they can protect the sovereignty of Afghanistan from the tyranny of the Taliban. Withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan under a Romney administration will be based on conditions on the ground as assessed by our military commander.”
Mitt Romney in his white paper: “With the Kremlin’s leverage over the energy supplies of Central and Western Europe, its stockpile of nuclear weapons, its recent history of aggressive military action, and the power it wields in multilateral institutions like the United Nations, Russia is a destabilizing force on the world stage. It needs to be tempered.”
Mitt Romney after the Russian Presidential elections [March 13, 2012]: “What the world witnessed in Russia yesterday was a mockery of the democratic process. Instead of stating that it ‘congratulates the Russian people on the completion of the presidential elections,’ as the Obama administration has done, it should have condemned the flagrant manipulation and media restrictions that marred this election. With the dimming of democracy in Russia, a better label for President Obama’s Russia policy is ‘set back’ rather than ‘reset.’”
Mitt Romney in a Washington Post op-ed [“How I Would Check Iran’s Nuclear Ambition,” March 5, 2012]: If the Iranians are permitted to get the bomb, the consequences will be as uncontrollable as they are horrendous. My foreign policy plan to avert this catastrophe is plain: Either the ayatollahs will get the message, or they will learn some very painful lessons about the meaning of American resolve.”
Mitt Romney during remarks to the Republican Jewish Coalition [December 7, 2011]: “I would not meet with Ahmadinejad. He should be excluded from diplomatic society. He should be indicted for the crime of incitement to genocide under Article III of the Genocide Convention. Iran’s ayatollahs will not be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons on my watch. A nuclear-armed Iran is not only a threat to Israel, it is a threat to the entire world. Our friends must never fear that we will not stand by them in an hour of need. Our enemies should never doubt our resolve. [Obama] has been timid and weak in the face of the existential threat of a nuclear Iran.”
Mitt Romney in an op-ed: “I will begin by imposing a new round of far tougher economic sanctions on Iran. I will do this together with the world if we can, unilaterally if we must. I will speak out forcefully on behalf of Iranian dissidents. I will back up American diplomacy with a very real and very credible military option. I will restore the regular presence of aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region simultaneously. I will increase military assistance to Israel and coordination with all of our allies in the region. These actions will send an unequivocal signal to Iran that the United States, acting in concert with allies, will never permit Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.”
Mitt Romney during a Republican primary debate in Spartanburg [November 11, 2011, South Carolina]: “We don’t negotiate with terrorists. I’d not negotiate with the Taliban. That’s something for the Afghans to decide, how they’re going to pursue their course in the future.”
Mitt Romney‘s response to a question about whether the United States should negotiate with the Taliban to end the fighting in Afghanistan: “These people have declared war on us. They’ve killed Americans. We go anywhere they are and we kill them.”
Mitt Romney during a Republican primary debate in Manchester [January 9, 2012, New Hampshire]: “My own view on the relationship with China is this, which is that China is stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs, our know-how, our brand names. They’re hacking into our computers, stealing information from not only corporate computers but from government computers. And they’re manipulating their currency. And if I’m president of the United States, I’m not going to continue to talk about how important China is and how we have to get along. And I believe those things. They’re very important. And we do have to get along. But I’m also going to tell the Chinese it’s time to stop. You have to play by the rules. I will not let you kill American jobs any longer.”
Mitt Romney during a Republican primary debate in Tampa [ January 23, 2012, Florida]: “This president has taken a very dangerous course with regards to Cuba saying we’re going to relax relations, we’re going to open up travel to Cuba. This is the wrong time for that, with this kind of heroics going on. We want to stand with the people of Cuba that want freedom. We want to move that effort forward not by giving in and saying we lost, but by saying we will fight for democracy.”
Romney position on China (2012 Republican Candidates: Mitt Romney)
China is one of the few issues that Romney appears to feel very strongly about. His comments concerning the communist nation have been intensifying over the last year, and he advocates an increasingly hardline approach in handling China.
“Well, China has an interest in trade. China wants to, as they have 20 million people coming out of the farms and coming into the cities every year, they want to be able to put them to work. They wanna have access to global markets. And so we have right now something they need very badly, which is access to our market and our friends around the world, have that same– power over China. We– to make sure that we let them understand that in order for them to continue to have free and open access to the thing they want so badly, our markets, they have to play by the rules.
They can’t hack into our computer systems and steal from our government. They can’t steal from corporations. They can’t take patents and designs, intellectual property, and, and, and, and duplicate them, and duplicate them and counterfeit them and sell them around the world. And they also can’t manipulate their currency in such a way as to make their prices well below what they otherwise would be.
We have to have China understand that like everybody else on the world stage, they have to play by the rules. And if they do, we’ll have open trade with them and work with them. And they should in every way want to collaborate with us and not become a belligerent nation economically or militarily. But if you just continue to sit back and let them run over us, the policies of Barack Obama in China have allowed China to continue to expand their, their, entry into our computer systems, their entry… and, stealing our intellectual property…
And of course, their, their military capacity…
Well number one, on day one, it’s acknowledging something which everyone knows, they’re a currency manipulator. And on that basis, we also go before the W.T., the W.T.O. and bring an action against them as a currency manipulator. And that allows us to apply, selectively, tariffs where we believe they are stealing our intellectual property, hacking into our computers, or artificially lowering their prices and killing American jobs. We can’t just sit back and let China run all over us. People say, “Well, you’ll start a trade war.” There’s one going on right now, folks. They’re stealing our jobs. And we’re gonna stand up to China.”
November 12, 2011: CBS News/ National Journal’s GOP Debate, Spartanburg, South Carolina
“I will label China as it is, a currency manipulator. And I will go after them for stealing our intellectual property. And they will recognize that if they cheat, there is a price to pay. I certainly don’t want a trade war with anybody. We are going to have a trade war, but we can’t have a trade surrender either…
I’m afraid that people who have looked at this in the past have been played like a fiddle by the Chinese. And the Chinese are smiling all the way to the bank, taking our currency and taking our jobs and taking a lot of our future. And I am not willing to let that happen.
I’m in this race to try to get America to make sure we’re strong again and we’re creating jobs where the best place in the world to be middle class again. And for that to happen, we have to call cheating for what it is.
And people say, we might have a trade war with China. Well, now, think about that.
We buy this much stuff from China, they buy that much stuff from us. You think they want to have a trade war?
I mean, this is a time when we are being hollowed out by China, that is artificially holding down their prices, as you just said a moment ago, and that’s having a massive impact on jobs here. It is the wrong course for us.
When people have pursued unfair trade practices, you have to have a president that will take action. And on day one, I have indicated, day one, I will issue an executive order identifying China as a currency manipulator. We’ll bring an action against them in front of the WTO for manipulating their currency, and we will go after them. If you are not willing to stand up to China, you will get run over by China, and that’s what’s happened”
October 11th, 2011: Bloomberg/ Washington Post Republican Presidential Debate, Hanover, New Hampshire
“You know what, I think it’s important first for the American people to understand that China is not like the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union, Kruschev in particular, wanted to bury us. China doesn’t want to bury us. They want to see us succeed and thrive so we can buy more Chinese products. And they’re our competitor economically. More power to them. We know how to compete. We want to make sure the competition is fair and legal and they protect our intellectual property rights and they have a monetary policy that’s fair. So we’ve got some challenges to make sure that the playing field is level with China.
But we can compete, we can be successful with China and reach out to them. I’ve already met with their leadership and will do so again, if I’m lucky enough to be president. Making China a partner for stability in the world will be one of my highest priority. China is really key in many respects as they become a very large economy. Their GNP is going to surpass ours just given the scale of the nation’s population.
We have to recognize they are going to be an economic powerhouse. And with that reality, we’re going to make sure that we’re friendly, that we understand each other, that we’re open in communicating and we’re collaborating on important topics like keeping North Korea from pursuing the nuclear armament which they’ve begun, getting Iran to avoid, or to abandon their nuclear ambitions. China and we together will have a great deal of positive influence for stability if we’re able to work that relationship properly.”
June 21, 2007: Romney speaking to the Pittsburgh Tribune
Mitt Romney: That is normally a good thing. But China is playing by different rules. One, they are stealing intellectual property. Number two, they’re hacking into our computer systems, both government and corporate. And they are stealing, by virtue of that as well, from us. And finally, they are manipulating their currency, and by doing so, holding down the price of Chinese goods, and making sure their products are artificially low-priced. It’s predatory pricing, it’s killing jobs in America. If I’m president of the United States, I’m making it very clear, I love free trade. I want to open markets to free trade. But I will crack down on cheaters like China. They simply cannot continue to steal our jobs…
Maria Bartiromo: How would you crack down on China?
Romney: Well, number one, I would do something this president should have done a long time ago, which is to label China a currency manipulator. And then I would bring in action at the WTO level, charging them with being a currency manipulator. Number three, where they have stolen intellectual property, where they have hacked into computers, and where their artificial pricing is causing their goods to have predatory levels of pricing, I would apply, if necessary, tariffs to make sure that they understand we are willing to play at a level playing field.
We want, we have to have free trade. That’s essential for the functioning of a strong economy. But we cannot allow one nation to continue to flaunt the rules and kill our jobs by allowing them continue as they have.
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