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Mike Solin - Detroit, Michigan

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Mr. Solin,

There's been a lot of talk lately about trade issues within the Democratic Party, what are your thoughts on it and are you surprised it's the biggest schism thus far? 

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16 hours ago, Cardinalfan9 said:

Mr. Solin,

There's been a lot of talk lately about trade issues within the Democratic Party, what are your thoughts on it and are you surprised it's the biggest schism thus far?  

     Well, I am not sure it is the ‘biggest schism’ but it appears we have some differences in opinions based on trade.  I won’t speak for my fellow candidates, but I will state my stance on it.  I would be slightly open to small tariffs on nations who have poor worker’s rights or working conditions such as in Mexico where President Fitzgerald is attempting to prevent companies from outsourcing there for cheap labor and fewer human rights regulations.  My strong opposition to the auto tariffs is that he is placing tariffs on the whole world with the exception of Canada.  This is absurd.  Our European allies and others like Japan shouldn’t pay the price for the sins of nations who are better destinations for outsourcing due to poor labor laws.

2 hours ago, TexAgRepublican said:

Why are you posting videos of Ronald Reagan during a Democratic Party primary? We don't like him.

     As someone who has studied Presidential history, you study past presidents and analyze what they did right and what they did wrong.  The video I shared of Ronald Reagan shows that one of the most Conservative icons in history has a trade philosophy that is similar to the Democrats today and is contradictory to what President Fitzgerald has just done.  This is an area where I agree with Ronald Reagan and many of you who oppose this tariff order agree with also. 

     If the Conservative Icon believes we should never restrict trade against our allies, why would President Fitzgerald do it?  It isn’t a liberal view or a conservative view, just a flat out foolish view that is going to cause more problems that solutions.  As I mentioned in my previous question about trade, placing tariffs on nations with poor labor laws is something that makes sense as it is unfair that our company’s follow minimum wage laws and follows the safety and environmental regulations that are essential for a first world nation to operate under, while other nations cut corners.  The result is a cheaper product from these nations with fewer labor laws while a more expensive US product. 

     Instead of punishing Europe and other extremely labor friendly nations, we should be working with our European allies by applying pressure to nations like Mexico and China to control the global economy and influence the world to a more humane and freer economy.  This is the difference in being a servant leader of the world and only caring about oneself.  America is a nation that the world looks up to.  Under President Fitzgerald, we have become selfish and isolated.  This is not the direction America should be going on.  Surrendering our influence for mere selfish reasons.

2 hours ago, Phillip Huffines said:

Mr. Solin,

You've said in the past you eant to give affordable healthcare access to illegal aliens. What else would you like to give them?

     I am a Christian.  The verse from Matthew 25:36, “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”  My heart believes that if someone is in need of medical assistance, we should offer it and offer it affordably.  If someone is bleeding, we treat it. If someone needs medicine, we find a way to get them access.  To me, it is the humane thing to do.  I don’t care what their ethnicity is, their status, their class, or any of that.  Healthcare should be available to everyone and nobody should be denied treatment.  In previous wars like WWII, our doctors would treat wounded German soldiers just as German doctors would treat American or UK soldiers.  Even in the midst of a war, we valued life and expended scarce resources to treat everyone we could.  Why would undocumented immigrants be treated with any less empathy than a NAZI soldier?

     Some Conservatives might be okay with seeing people die or become ill without treatment just because they are Hispanic, poor, or of Southern American heritage.  I am not.  I believe in affordable health care for everyone.  From my perspective, it is just morally right. 

     What else would I like to give them?  I would like to design a more effective and efficient path to citizenship.  We have the room in this country, and I do wish they would immigrate legally.  I do understand that these undocumented immigrants aren't here to commit crimes or create conflict, but are here to provide a better life for their families.  Speaking of Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan also supported undocumented immigrants to go to public school, believed that they are humans to and deserve opportunity, and granted amnesty.  I do not mind aligning myself with Ronald Reagan on his trade policy and immigration views. 

Edited by Doomhammer

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If President Fitzgerald put tariffs on China, would you support it in public? They have poor labor laws, so seemingly they would be a country you would be willing to explicitly target.

Edited by TexAgRepublican

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7 hours ago, TexAgRepublican said:

If President Fitzgerald put tariffs on China, would you support it in public? They have poor labor laws, so seemingly they would be a country you would be willing to explicitly target.

     This is more complex that a simple yes or no.  I think placing tariffs on China alone would be foolish as you do not simply take on a economic super-power alone.  China and America’s economies are more intertwined than it should.  Prior to placing any extreme tariff on China, we should take two steps.  The first is that we must start finding other trading partners around the world to get our economy less reliant on China.  Secondly, if we were to apply tariffs on China, we should not do it alone.  We would need to get many more nations to apply the same tariffs and put pressure on China to change their labor laws to even the playing field. 

     Additionally, we should reach out to the World Trade Organization or the United Nations and request that we create a foundation for minimal labor laws that promote humane treatment of employees and basic regulations businesses around the world should abide by.  That way, the free trade that is the center of the World Trade Organization principals would truly be fair when all nations have similar treatment of workers and business.  The WTO and members of the UN could essentially choose to place tariffs on nations who have poor labor laws and practices.

     So if President Fitzgerald placed a tariff on China alone, he will likely begin a trade war that will not favor anyone.  There are more complexities that need to be looked into prior to making such drastic trade decisions.

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9 minutes ago, Doomhammer said:

     This is more complex that a simple yes or no.  I think placing tariffs on China alone would be foolish as you do not simply take on a economic super-power alone.  China and America’s economies are more intertwined than it should.  Prior to placing any extreme tariff on China, we should take two steps.  The first is that we must start finding other trading partners around the world to get our economy less reliant on China.  Secondly, if we were to apply tariffs on China, we should not do it alone.  We would need to get many more nations to apply the same tariffs and put pressure on China to change their labor laws to even the playing field. 

 

     Additionally, we should reach out to the World Trade Organization or the United Nations and request that we create a foundation for minimal labor laws that promote humane treatment of employees and basic regulations businesses around the world should abide by.  That way, the free trade that is the center of the World Trade Organization principals would truly be fair when all nations have similar treatment of workers and business.  The WTO and members of the UN could essentially choose to place tariffs on nations who have poor labor laws and practices.

 

     So if President Fitzgerald placed a tariff on China alone, he will likely begin a trade war that will not favor anyone.  There are more complexities that need to be looked into prior to making such drastic trade decisions.

 

Mr. Solin,

Do you feel like the WTO and UN have been successful in cracking down on the behavior of China?

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24 minutes ago, Phillip Huffines said:

Mr. Solin,

Do you feel like the WTO and UN have been successful in cracking down on the behavior of China?

No.  They have not.  Back in 1999, the US attempted to place a social clause in the WTO but it was quickly withdrawn.  My issue with absolute free trade is that nations must be executing under similar standards.  When one nation ensures quality wages, overtime, environmental protections, child restrictions, and safety regulations and another nation does not, the odds are the company producing goods in the first nation will have a higher priced product than the nation who has limited labor rights.  The WTO and UN promote free trade and that is an ideal, but nations should level the playing field a bit better than they are now.  Balancing China's trade or economy is a huge undertaking and cannot be solved by a mere tariff.  More strategy has to be in place to fix that, and it will need to be a result of the US leading the world to put pressure on China and not the US acting alone.

My biggest objection to President Fitzgerald's tariff is that it is on the whole world.  If it were on Mexico alone or other countries where most US companies choose to escape to in order to exploit cheaper labor and weaker labor laws, I may not have been as outspoken against it as I do see the merit behind it.  I have been clear about my concern with the tariff on China as we should head into this alone.  Thus, my biggest disappointment in the executive order is that it unfairly targets our allies across the globe who, in most cases, have better employee benefits and laws than we do here.  I think if the executive order was more targeted and didn't harm our allies and was not making us isolated in our efforts with China, I could be open to some tariffs.

Edited by Doomhammer

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13 hours ago, Doomhammer said:

If it were on Mexico alone or other countries where most US companies choose to escape to in order to exploit cheaper labor and weaker labor laws, I may not have been as outspoken against it as I do see the merit behind it. 

So if President Fitzgerald terminated NAFTA and put broad tariffs on Mexico, you would support it?

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1 hour ago, TexAgRepublican said:

So if President Fitzgerald terminated NAFTA and put broad tariffs on Mexico, you would support it?

     I do believe we need to renegotiate NAFTA.  NAFTA was made with the right intentions; however, only two of the three nations are truly doing its labor right.  *Jerry Dias, Canada’s biggest private-sector union President, said NAFTA should be scrapped if Mexico cannot agree to better labor standards.  In your hypothetical scenario, I would first attempt to renegotiate NAFTA with Mexico and Canada knowing that Canada is on our side to enforce stricter and better labor laws.  Again, we aren't trying to bully nations but apply pressure to empower citizens of the world to live in better labor conditions.  If President Fitzgerald was unable to renegotiate a better NAFTA that includes better labor standards, I would not be opposed to terminating NAFTA,  establishing a similar free trade agreement with Canada and maybe a few other allied nations, and placing specific tariffs on industries in Mexico that affects the American businesses and the American people the most.  I would recommend Canada do the same and place similar tariffs on Mexico until they adapt to the modern world of labor rights. So, yes, I would support a measure like that.

 

OOC: *

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trade-nafta-labor/sharp-differences-over-labor-surface-at-nafta-talks-in-mexico-idUSKCN1BF00H?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews

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1 minute ago, TexAgRepublican said:

Senator, are you aware that you most likely cannot put broad tariffs on Mexico like what you said you would support without first terminating NAFTA?

   I did believe I said that; however, I will restate it to be a bit more clear.  I would support terminating NAFTA if Mexico does not adjust their labor standards; I would then reinstate free trade policies of NAFTA between the US and Canada as well as possibly other allied nations; lastly, I would recommend Canada and the US place similar tariffs on Mexico until they adapt to the modern world of labor rights.

 

OOC:  My phrasing could have been confusing with the "I would not be opposed to terminating NAFTA"  which was a beginning of a series not 3 separate ideas.  This was the statement. 

If President Fitzgerald was unable to renegotiate a better NAFTA that includes better labor standards, I would not be opposed to terminating NAFTA,  establishing a similar free trade agreement with Canada and maybe a few other allied nations, and placing specific tariffs on industries in Mexico that affects the American businesses and the American people the most.  I would recommend Canada do the same and place similar tariffs on Mexico until they adapt to the modern world of labor rights.

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