(Emmetsburg, IA) On the eve of what may be groundbreaking world trade talks, Democrat presidential candidate Bill Bradley Sunday said American workers who lose their jobs to cheaper labor in another country should get a government stipend if their new job pays less.
Bradley also supports expanded job training programs for workers thrown into unemployment by an overseas business relocation.
“So that people could learn more and therefore earn more,” Bradley said in an interview.
Bradley issued a three-page statement about the World Trade Organization and the protests of those who say expanding world trade is hurting the environment and workers.
“I have long championed trade because it is an engine for growth,” Bradley said, in the statement. “…The W.T.O. is at a turning point. To maintain support for further liberalization, it is imperative to recognize trade’s impact on people and nature.”
Bradley proposed a worldwide ban on goods produced with “bonded or indentured child labor” and he called for opening the World Trade Organization’s proceedings to the public.
Bradley said the next president must enact policies which help workers “displaced by trade who take lower paying jobs.”
Bradley has previously proposed spending $1 Billion taxpayer dollars on job training programs.
“There have been many jobs created by open trade and there have been some jobs that have been lost,” Bradley said during an interview. “What we have to do is focus on those individuals who have not fared well, try to give them a security package that includes health care and child care and opportunity for more education.”
In his statement, Bradley said expanding trade ties between the world’s countries are a convergence of economics and morality.
“When I hear our exports are growing, I say, that’s a good thing,” Bradley said. “But when I hear America is also exporting its most precious values — freedom, tolerance, respect for human rights — I say, that’s a great thing. Finding a way to come together in that endeavor should be Seattle’s real story.”
Representatives from over 140 nations will gather this week in Seattle, Washington, to discuss trade issues and whether to admit China to the World Trade Organization.
Bradley campaigned in western Iowa over the weekend. He was joined on the Iowa campaign trail by Republican presidential hopeful Orrin Hatch, who also focused on trade issues.
Hatch, a U.S. Senator from Utah, said it is crucial for China to be admitted to the World Trade Organization.
“The more we can get them to conform to worldwide norms, the more we undermine their police state,” Hatch said during an interview.
Hatch said U.S. defense strategy regarding China must be firm, particularly since a report indicates the Chinese are on the verge of developing military technology which detects U.S. “stealth” aircraft.
“China’s tried to have unjust influence in the South China Sea, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, just to mention four places and we have got to be a geopolitical competitor with China,” Hatch said. “We can compete with them, but at the same time we have to be open to a relationship which will hopefully bring them out of the Stone Age.”