Beto has a trade plan! There’s a lot to like.
First, he advocates for an alternative vision that is neither neoliberalism nor Trumpism. He pledges to end an unproductive trade war, but also put working people and environment at the center, not the margin. (medium.com/@BetoORourke/t…) As an example of the latter, look at what he would require be in trade agreements.
No to tax avoidance; yes to labor standards and connecting trade to the Paris climate accords.
And I’m biased, but I really like their taking on board my proposal to ensure trade deals won’t lead to declines in union density. That’s a way to take the institutional impacts seriously, which in turn can help tamp down right-wing populism. (democracyjournal.org/magazine/48/to…) Like some of the other good trade plans, there is also a theory of governance. Bureaucratic incentives have hindered enforcement in the past, so Beto explicitly delinks it from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, whose central mandate is negotiation of new trade deals.
While pledging to end the China trade war on Day One, Beto also pledges a suit of aggressive moves if China doesn’t meet US demands.
Yet the core of his China move is actually in Geneva. With better WTO rules, we could get better WTO outcomes.
(His critique here also confirms that concerns with the WTO are bipartisan. Trump’s blocking of appellate body appointments, e.g., was actually an Obama initiative.)
We could go even further here. Why not repurpose the WTO to help enforce a Global Green New Deal? Paper here on that: (rooseveltinstitute.org/the-green-new-…)
The private sector is not left off the hook. Beto links CEO payhikes to investing money into their workers.
In short, @BetoORourke’s plan is just the latest evidence that the Democrats as a party — not just Warren, not just Sanders — have shifted direction. Trade policy didn’t come from heaven. It’s built by humans, and we can choose whose interests it serves. (rooseveltinstitute.org/trade-set-doct…) Indeed, the alternative approach has a name. It’s “industrial policy” — a strategy used systematically by US allies and competitors, but only un-systematically by the US. (rooseveltinstitute.org/industrial-pol…) In the past, racism has hindered meaningful industrial policy and planning — as @kendrabozarth writes here. (rooseveltinstitute.org/why-this-matte…) And while there’s now bipartisan support for industrial policy, there’s still a lot of work to do to bridge these gaps and the ugly history, as @NellAbernathy writes here: (rooseveltforward.org/blog/2019/08/2…)