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WORD Transcript: Beasley v. Demint on Trade
Ralph Bristol
June 17, 2004

The following is a transcipt of the debate over trade issues between David Beasley and Jim DeMint, the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate from South Carolina, on the Ralph Bristol Show on Thursday, June 17th.

Beasley: When I was governor of South Carolina, we were #1 in the United States with regards to job growth and personal income growth. Now, we’re #1 in America in manufacturing job loss, so something has significantly changed and the answer is unfair trade – unfair foreign trade and we’ve got predatory trade practices taking place from places like China that take the currency, that engage in the predatory trade practices. For example intellectual property rights are not protected or respected. They dump…illegal dumping. They have very little labor and environmental standards, and I don’t think we can continue to play by those rules – asking the workers in South Carolina to tie both hands behind their back to go out and have a boxing match, so what we’ve got to do is make certain that we have true free trade and that means having a level playing field and that means we’ve got to change the game. For example, Lindsey Graham and others have put in legislation that would put a tariff on China – a tool – they peg their currency – because, I mean til they let it be on the market place like it should. Right now, they peg it. That gives them anywhere from a 10 to 50 percent advantage…

 

Ralph: Let’s hear from Mr. DeMint. There will be plenty of time for rebuttal.

 

DeMint: Unfortunately, the policies that Mr. Beasley is talking about would raise the cost of everything we buy as Americans – our clothes, our shoes, out TVs and DVDs, because this is going to start a trade war and it’s going to put thousands of South Carolinians out of work at companies like BMW, Michelin and General Electric, who depend on exports to keep their people employed here. And Mr. Beasley’s not just against trade with China. He’s said he’s against my vote to give the President trade promotion authority to negotiate better agreements. You can’t have fair trade unless you go out and negotiate better agreements. He says he’s against developing agreements with our Central American neighbors – in South America – as well as Australia. He says he wants a moratorium on all trade agreements. Ralph, it’s completely illogical to say that what we have now is not working, but let’s not do anything. The reason I voted for trade promotion authority is it gives our president the chance to put his fist on the desk and say if we’re going to take your products, you’re going to take ours and we’re already seeing results, because since we passed TPA, which – the first trade agreements from that just came into play this year, so we haven’t lost any jobs from TPA…

 

Ralph: Rebuttal Mr. Beasley

 

Beasley:  Oh, good grief. Jim, you’ve really gotten out of control here. The fact is, I’ve always been in support of trade with China, but what I want is free and fair trade with China, which we don’t have. We’ve lost over 200,000 jobs to China. We have over half a trillion – not billion – half a trillion dollar trade deficit now in these United States. That means we’re losing wealth all around the world. I’ve never said I’ve opposed having trade with regard to Central America, nor Austra

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