David Scott is Dead Wrong on Trade

Congressman David Scott (D) is dead wrong by opposing trade deals and does not represent the economic interests of Georgia or the 13th congressional district.

Embracing trade with other nations is right in principle, in practice, and in fact. And, as the Trump administration moves forward with its America First policy, Georgia needs representatives who will support new trade deals that benefit the nation and the state.

In principle, free trade is the best hope for mutual security and prosperity of all nations. It is also the moral duty of free people to serve mankind through productive labor and trade.

In practice, Georgia’s deep roots in agriculture and transportation mean than free trade would be a big boost to our state economy; especially with the Savannah Port expansion and the potential increase in goods transported through our state as a result.

In fact, Georgia’s 13th congressional district, David Scott’s district, as the highest percentage of jobs in transportation, warehousing, and utilities than any district in Georgia. Free trade means jobs for our neighbors. For these reasons, it is wise and beneficial for the nation, the state of Georgia, and the communities of the 13th congressional district to pursue free trade with nations of good will. Yet, David Scott routinely votes against trade deals.

Cynical Protectionism

Since taking office in 2002, incumbent Congressman and career politician David Scott (D) representing Georgia’s 13th congressional district has routinely voted against free trade agreements with nations that are US’s friendly neighbors, even those agreements that would benefit Georgia, and even agreements introduced by members of his own party.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous to believe that we can create jobs without trade.” -Congressman Charles Rangel (D)

Here is a list of Congressman David Scott’s votes against free trade which were dead wrong and at least once jeopardized US foreign policy in our own hemisphere.

Congressman David Scott voted against the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act; Bill H.R . 3688 ; vote number 2007-1060 on Nov 8, 2007. This bill eventually became a law and was broadly supported by members of both parties. Yet, Congressman David Scott was not persuaded by leaders of his own party. Congressman Charles Rangel (D) in support of the bill said, “It’s absolutely ridiculous to believe that we can create jobs without trade. I had the opportunity to travel to Peru recently. I saw firsthand how important this agreement is to Peru and how this agreement will strengthen an important ally of ours in that region. Peru is resisting the efforts of Venezuela’s authoritarian President Hugo Chavez to wage a war of words and ideas in Latin America against the US. Congress should acknowledge the support of the people of Peru and pass this legislation by a strong margin.”

The Peru Trade Promotion Agreement Implementation Act did pass the house by a strong margin with a vote of 285 – 132 but without an affirmative vote from the Congressman from Georgia’s 13th district. According to Congressman Charles Rangel (D) not only was Congressman Scott’s vote bad for American jobs, it also was naive and dangerous given the rise of the dictator Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. I agree with Congressman Charles Rangel and the strong majority on this one.

Congressman David Scott voted against the CAFTA Implementation Bill; Bill HR 3045 ; vote number 2005-443 on Jul 28, 2005. This bill also became law with bi-partisan support. Among other things, this law urged each participating nation to obey various international agreements regarding intellectual property rights. Promulgating international agreement on intellectual property rights is critical to the competitiveness of US businesses particularly in the high growth technology sector. The US must gain international agreement on intellectual property rights to press its interests with China and other Asian countries which notoriously do not respect property rights, causing huge losses in profitability, revenue, and jobs among US businesses.  Congressman David Scott’s vote against CAFTA showed that he does not understand international business and the strategic imperatives for US competitiveness.

Congressman David Scott voted against the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement; Bill HR 2739 ; vote number 2003-432 on Jul 24, 2003. This bill like the others eventually became law with bi-partisan support. Among other things, the agreement would establish intellectual property, environmental and labor standards- three strategic objectives which are critical to advance both national interests as well as universal human rights.

Congressman David Scott voted against Bill HR 2738 ; vote number 2003-436 on Jul 24, 2003 which established a trade agreement with Chile. The trade pact eventually became law and would establish intellectual property safeguards and would call for enforcement of environmental and labor standards.

Do you see the pattern?  Congressman David Scott does not support free trade with friendly nations of Peru, the Dominican Republic, Singapore, and Chile. He ignores the implications of trade for national security. He would embolden dictators who wish to bring harm to the US and its allies. He is unpersuaded by leadership within his own party like Charles Rangel. His votes against free trade fail to optimize one of Georgia’s great assets, the Savannah Port expansion, and what that could mean for our state’s economy. He doesn’t fit the larger bi-partisan effort to gain international agreement on property rights that would benefit US businesses and jobs in the global economy. His colleagues in both parties do not agree with him. And, he does not represent the economic interests of his constituents in Georgia or the 13th district.

What Congressman David Scott’s voting record on trade represents is a world view which holds that the US should not cooperate with other nations to meet mutually beneficial economic growth; that low-wage manufacturing in the US ought to be protected even at the expense of other industries such as agriculture and technology; that US families ought to pay higher prices on imported goods; that the US has no interest in spreading democracy within its own hemisphere; that intellectual property rights are not critical for US businesses to thrive; and that securing international labor standards for our fellow members of the human species is not worth the trouble. He sees no opportunity nor responsibility on behalf of the US and no hope for the betterment of humanity. David Scott is dead wrong on trade.

A More Hopeful Path

The US and the state of Georgia could benefit greatly from free trade. Agriculture is still Georgia’s top industry. And, our farmers can produce food in surplus to meet the needs of consumers in the US and other nations in the world. By expanding the Savannah Port Authority, Georgia could be prepared to ship goods to and from other nations. And, Georgia roads will transport those goods. Business centers in Atlanta and other Georgia communities could provide professional, financial, and legal services needed to by the growing economy. Economic growth through free trade means jobs for citizens of Georgia and the 13th congressional district in transportation, warehousing, utilities, technology, education, and professional services. And, when there is growth and jobs, home values follow. Tremendous wealth could be created through free trade which will make our communities strong.

For 15 years, Congressman David Scott has not supported free trade. There is no reason the think he will support it in the future. As President Donald Trump presses his agenda to negotiate strong trade deals for the US, Georgia needs more congressmen who will either get on the bus or get out of the way.

Free trade is our future. Congressman David Scott’s view of the world is the past. It is time for voters of Georgia’s 13th congressional district to have a new representative that understands trade.

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