Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is proposing a "Reagan Zone of Economic Freedom" that would unite the world’s "free traders" — bringing together the U.S., the European Union and other countries which embrace open markets. According to Romney, Democrats in America are too quick to favor trade barriers that would end up stifling U.S. economic growth.
"We lost jobs in a number of sectors and in manufacturing in particular over the past several years. That’s not acceptable to me. I want to fight for every single job we can possibly maintain in this country," Romney says. "At the same time, the answer is not to try and throw up barriers and say we’re not going to let foreign products in because, obviously, the barriers work both ways."
Romney is making stops in four Iowa cities today, stressing an economic message that highlights his background in business. Romney, who served a four-year term as Massachusetts’ governor, made millions as an investor and business consultant for companies like Dominoes and Staples.
"I believe I’m the only candidate running for president who has spent virtually his entire career dealing with trade and with business and with why jobs come to this country and why they leave," Romney says. "I understand how the economy works. I know why businesses decide to locate in other countries or other states."
Romney is criticizing "provisions" in existing current U.S. trade agreements — without citing specific examples. "We want to open up markets to our goods, but in some cases we enter into agreements with other nations that are more favorable to other nations than they are to us," Romney says. "That may be in part because the people who sign those agreements for us don’t know a lot about business and I do and I can assure you that if we’re working out trade arrangements with other nations to open up markets to our goods, I’m going to take a close look at ’em and make sure they work for America, not just for the people we’re signing the agreement with."
Romney made his comments during an interview with Radio Iowa. Romney campaigned this morning in Decorah. This afternoon, he has stops scheduled in Charles City and Mason City. He’ll be in West Des Moines this evening.