• 11. Support & expand free trade
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Free trade is an economic policy under which the government does not interfere with trade. No tariffs are applied to imports or exports, and people are allowed to trade goods and services as they please. Supply and demand dictates the prices for which goods and services sell and are the only factors that determine how resources are allocated in society. Under a free trade system, there are no trade barriers. There is free access to markets and market information, and there are no government-imposed monopolies.

(Source: DEBATE.ORG)
Official Democratic Position

Over the last four years, we have made historic progress toward the goal of doubling our exports by 2015. We have taken steps to open new markets to American products, while ensuring that other countries play by the same rules. President Obama signed into law new trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama that will support tens of thousands of private-sector jobs, but not before he strengthened these agreements on behalf of American workers and businesses. We remain committed to finding more markets for American-made goods--including using the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the United States and eight countries in the Asia-Pacific, one of the most dynamic regions in the world--while ensuring that workers' rights and environmental standards are upheld, and fighting against unfair trade practices. We expanded and reformed assistance for trade-affected workers, and we demanded renewal of that help alongside new trade agreements.

Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform , Sep 4, 2012
Official Republican Position

International trade is crucial for our economy. It means more American jobs, higher wages, & a better standard of living. The Free Trade Agreements negotiated with friendly democracies facilitated the creation of nearly ten million jobs supported by our exports. That record makes all the more deplorable the current Administration's slowness in completing agreements begun by its predecessor and its failure to pursue any new trade agreements with friendly nations.

We call for the restoration of presidential Trade Promotion Authority. It will ensure up or down votes in Congress on any new trade agreements, without meddling by special interests. A Republican President will complete negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership to open rapidly developing Asian markets to US products. Beyond that, we envision a worldwide multilateral agreement among nations committed to the principles of open markets, what has been called a "Reagan Economic Zone," in which free trade will truly be fair trade.

Source: 2012 Republican Party Platform , Aug 27, 2012
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