Free Trade is only Fair Trade when applied to societies of equal political, economic, and social status. Unfortunately for Maine, our country’s free trade agreements have too often allowed new participants into our markets that are not held to the same standards and rules as Maine businesses. Over the last several decades, our trade policies have produced reverse incentives for U.S. businesses to off-shore jobs, contributing to the hollowing out of the American economy and sharp, harmful declines in U.S. manufacturing.
Traditional industries across Maine have felt acutely the negative effects of unfair free trade agreements as well as expanded international trade with increasingly competitive exporters like China. I believe that efforts to help diversify and modernize Maine’s trade-sensitive industries will continue to fall short of their full potential until we get serious about building a trade agenda that carefully and responsibly assesses how best to improve existing trade agreements and how to craft new ones; more consistently prioritizes the enforcement of our existing trade agreements; and better supports domestic industry and American exporters. To learn more about my trade priorities, please click here.