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Warren calls for complete overhaul of United States trade policy

FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to supporters in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. March 17, 2019. REUTERS/Karen Pulfer Focht
FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to supporters in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. March 17, 2019. REUTERS/Karen Pulfer Focht
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is rolling out a trade policy that calls for fair prices for farmers, breaking up monopolies in grain trading and meatpacking, and country-of-origin labeling.

“Between the trade fights incited by (President Donald) Trump’s haphazard tariffs and a series of natural disasters, America’s farmers are now facing the worst crisis in almost 40 years,” Warren said in the policy proposal she released Monday during a town hall in Toledo, Ohio.

“They are also facing unprecedented levels of uncertainty and instability. Trump’s tariffs have reduced crop prices, threatened farmers already operating on razor-thin margins, and opened up new non-American markets against which our farmers are now forced to compete.

“Like trade deals of the past, Trump’s NAFTA 2.0 is written to help giant multinational agribusinesses at the expense of family farms, and it will do nothing to solve the newly created market insecurity Trump’s tariffs have caused,” the Democratic presidential hopeful said.

The changes Warren is proposing are part of her plan for using “economic patriotism” to overhaul the U.S. approach to trade in ways that will completely transform the United States’ current approach to trade. It will work for American workers and families not giant multinational corporations — and raise global standards of living, according to Warren.

“For decades, big multinational corporations have bought and lobbied their way into dictating America’s trade policy,” Warren said. “Those big corporations have gotten rich but everyone else has paid the price. We’ve lost millions of jobs to outsourcing, depressed wages for American workers, accelerated climate change and squeezed America’s family farmers.

“We’ve let China get away with the suppression of pay and labor rights, poor environmental protections, and years of currency manipulation,” she said. “All to add some zeros to the bottom lines of big corporations with no loyalty or allegiance to America.”

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Trade, she said, can be a powerful tool to help working families, “but our failed pro-corporate agenda has used trade to harm American workers and the environment.”

She wants to use America’s leverage as the world’s most attractive market to boost American workers and raise the standard of living across the globe.

“The president has a lot of authority to remake trade policy herself,” Warren said. “When I’m elected, I intend to use it.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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