Democratic 2020 Presidential Candidates
2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates

Written by Mark Sanguinetti, Web Site Author

On 6/18/2015 Congress passed Fast Track Authority, also called Trade Promotion Authority. Because of this, the current president along with the 2020 elected President has been granted the authority to negotiate international agreements that Congress can approve or deny but cannot amend or filibuster. This was promoted by Barack Obama as Democratic President and passed by Congress with most of the yes or yea votes coming from Representatives and Senators of the Republican Party. Unlike President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden during the years 2008 to 2016 who continually promoted TPP, Donald Trump as current president with the Republican party from the years 2016 to 2019 with FastTrack Authority has never promoted, TPP, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. For all those that oppose TPP, there is a concern that since the next president will also have Fast Track Authority, a president who also opposes this, needs to be elected. It looks like the only way TPP can be brought back and not deleted is for the 2020 elected president to feed it again to the USA.

There are many candidates currently participating in the Democratic Party Presidential election for 2020. People should get factual and not deceptive information on what they have done as Senators and Congressional Representatives. For those with limited prior governmental experience like current president Donald Trump before he was elected as president, people hopefully will also be able to see their mindset and what they have supported or opposed. This is important in helping to determine what they would likely do if elected president. Next is information on the Democratic party primary presidential candidates for this key issue. We should see what people actually do instead of what they only promise to do.

Joe BidenStarting with Joe Biden, as vice president he favored the Trans-Pacific Partnership and with Barack Obama as President tried to get it to pass congress completely. As a Delaware Senator in 2000 he voted in favor of the U.S. China Relations Act. During the 1990s, as Delaware senator, Biden repeatedly voted to support Most Favored Nation Status for China in 1991, 1992, 1997 and finally the most critical vote in 2000 that made Most Favored Nation status permanent and allowed China into the World Trade Organization. But now Biden is trying to be deceptive by saying that "when we backed out of TPP, we put China in the drivers seat", yet he was one of the people who gave China Most Favored Nation Status regarding trade with the United States. Using Biden's own figurative language, Biden helped to put China economically in the driver's seat with his continual votes, granting Communist China Most Favored Nation Status. As a result, the USA has had very high yearly trade deficits with China with the USA buying the goods of China, while they are able to use the money received for selling the goods to buy our assets, such as real estate, commodities like gold and silver, federal government bonds and corporate stocks and bonds. When people know what he has actually supported and done they should clearly see Biden's global trade deception and false promises. Also when he was a Delaware Senator in 1993, he voted to pass NAFTA, which is the North American Free Trade Agreement.

When following the way he has actually done things instead of what he promises as a candidate. If elected president for 2020 he would again support multi-national companies so that the companies can outsource production to foreign countries where they can get cheap labor through the overvalued U.S. dollar compared to undervalued foreign currencies, for example in China and with TPP in Vietnam. Also so the companies that primarily import can lessen or avoid U.S. Taxes. Very small taxes on U.S. imports with much higher overall taxes on U.S. manufactured goods and their productive workers does NOT follow the original U.S. constitution and has resulted in very high yearly U.S. trade deficits. They have been over 350 Billion Dollars every year since the year 2000.

Bernie SandersIn contrast to Joe Biden, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders when he was a Congressional Representative for Vermont opposed and voted against NAFTA in 1993. As a Congressional Representative he also helped lead the fight against Permanent normal trade relations with China. In 1993 Bernie voted in the house against granting China "Most Favored Nation" status. In 1998 he voted against giving the president so-called Fast Track Authority to negotiate trade agreements without a later Congressional amendment. In 1999/2000 Bernie Sanders voted No on granting “Most Favored Nation” status to Communist China. In spite of this vote and his continual opposition to MFN for Communist China, people sometimes still get deceived with Bernie Sanders being falsely called a Communist. Yes, he is for government and public land. However, he is also for private homes for people to live in.

Regarding TPP, Senator Sanders has always strongly opposed this, while voting No in the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015", which is commonly known as TPA Fast-track legislation. Bernie Sanders with many years of experience as both a Congressional Representative and Senator has many times voted No on free trade Agreements that have primarily been in the support of global companies so that they can outsource the production of goods to foreign countries to lessen their costs while increasing their profits. Other trade agreements that he has voted No on include the Australia Free Trade Agreement in 2004, and similarly for Singapore and Chile in 2003. He voted NO on implementing CAFTA, Central America Free Trade in 2005. He voted NO on promoting free trade with Peru for 2008. Some people today pretend they are conservative, but are not economically. However Berne Sanders is NOT a free trade neoliberal.

Kamala HarrisRecently elected California Senator Kamala Harris, during her 2016 Senate campaign, TPP was one of the hottest issues in politics. Harris who now is also running for 2020 president initially declined to take a firm stance on it: “We want to strike a balance that allows America’s economy to prosper, and that’s going to be about our workers and our businesses,” she said in April 2015, neither endorsing nor really opposing the trade deal. But once Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a fierce TPP critic, entered the race against her, Harris came out against the trade pact, stating it did not adequately protect US workers or the environment.

Since then, Harris has sat at every intersection of the trade debate. She talks about giving workers a voice and protecting American jobs. But she doesn’t approve of Trump’s tariffs on imported goods from China, a trade regime that she sees as destroying the United States’ international relations, as well as taking a toll on consumers and manufacturers. "I like to call it Trump’s trade tax. And his trade tax is taking $1.4 billion out of working people’s pockets every month." In stating this she is economically with actual accounting ignoring who actually pays the tariff taxes. It is the U.S. companies who import the goods with the revenue from the taxes going to the U.S. federal government. Kamala ignores the reality that productive U.S. workers pay income taxes through their employment company. Kamala should be asked the question, “Should U.S. government revenue only come from our productive workers? Or should companies that import goods also pay taxes to increase the revenue of the U.S. federal government?” With her current mindset in California she is supporting the companies who import goods via California ports, while ignoring the companies who manufacture goods in the USA. And yes, I live in California and have driven by ports used for imported goods.

Elizabeth WarrenIn contrast more experienced Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren who is also campaigning for 2020 president has actual economic sense and says “We’ve let China get away with the suppression of pay and labor rights, poor environmental protections, and years of currency manipulation". Warren wrote this in a blog post. Elizabeth Warren with at least some business accounting sense is not against tariff taxes and perhaps sees them also as a source of increased government revenue. However, with her very good legal knowledge having been a university law professor her focus is legal laws and regulations.

The main problem she understands and sees with global trade agreements is ISDS or Investor State Dispute Settlement which is often added to trade deals solely to increase global corporate profits. She says, “As President, I will not include ISDS in any new agreement and will renegotiate existing agreements to remove ISDS from them.” As she knows, ISDS gives global and foreign corporations special rights to challenge our laws outside of our court legal system. ISDS would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. This would work for global companies while allowing them to challenge U.S. laws that they see reducing their profits. With ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators, which would not be judges, but instead would be people who were also sometimes corporate lawyers. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require a government whether it is federal, state or county to pay thousands, millions or even billions of dollars in damages as long as the government had the law. The only source for the payback of these government fines could be through government taxes which our citizens would be required to pay. 

Michael BennetMichael Bennet, Senator from Colorado voted Yes in 2011 on the U.S.-Korean Trade Free Agreement. In 2015 he voted Yes on Trade Promotion Authority. Bennet is one of the politicians who pretends that TPP would lessen or even stop China’s ability to write the rules of the global economy, while they do not and never have. Instead China was simply added in 2001 to the 143 countries of the World Trade Organization. China’s global trade surplus for 2017 in US dollars was $421.44 billion, while the U.S. goods trade deficit with China was $375.423 billion in 2017. Using math this tells us that 89% of China’s world leading trade surplus for 2017 was with the USA. Regarding USA global trade with nations since TPP includes other nations such as Vietnam, should the USA simply change its continual world record trade deficit from China to other nations, for example Vietnam? A reason to do this is primarily to help the global for profit companies because wages have yearly risen in China since the year 2000 by perhaps 15% per year. The next nation for the global companies is perhaps Vietnam as part of TPP. Michael Bennet hasn’t said whether he would have the United States join a revised TPP, but after seeing his vote count likely would bring back TPP if elected president.

Steven BullockAnother candidate who thinks like Michael Bennet on trade with China is Steven Bullock, current Governor of Montana. He says joining an effective recent version of TPP with only a name change with the addition of the words “Comprehensive Progressive” with the new abbreviation of CPTPP has the potential to be an important element of a comprehensive U.S. strategy for pushing back against growing Chinese influence in the Asia-Pacific region and globally. People like Bennet want people to ignore the currency manipulation that China practices today in making the sale of their products globally competitive when comparing the value of their Chinese currency to the value of the US dollar. In addition people like Bennet want common people to also ignore that China since after 2000 with Most Favored Nation status, has charged higher tariff taxes than the USA while also adding a Value Added Tax on imports, which most nations use, but the USA does not use.

Amy KlobucharAnother 2020 presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar, Senator from Minnesota with her following votes: A No vote on the Central American Free Trade Agreement in 2006. A No vote on promoting free trade with Peru in 2008. A Yes vote on the 2011 U.S.-Korean Trade Free Agreement. A No vote in 2015 on Trade Promotion Authority. Overall Amy Klobuchar has been mostly against or at least above average for Senators in not bowing down to global companies and sometimes even speaking against granting them global trade authority. 

Cory BookerAnother 2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker, Senator from New Jersey in 2015 voted No on Trade Promotion Authority. Booker broke with President Obama and voted against giving him new authority to negotiate trade legislation. Booker was one of the 37 Senators who voted No with 62 Senators voting Yes or Yea. This bill gave Barack Obama as president along with the 2020 President the ability to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership and bring it back to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments, a process known as fast-track. Booker, given the choice of supporting the president, joined most Senate Democrats in voting no. "Our trade policy must balance the need to increase exports and expand commerce with provisions that empower American workers," Booker said in a statement. "This legislation did not provide enough assurance that a deal reached under its terms would achieve that balance."

Tulsi GabbardAnother 2020 presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii 2nd Congressional Representative voted No on Trade Promotion Authority in 2015. She sees that hard working Americans have suffered, lost their jobs and livelihoods as a consequence of large trade agreements like NAFTA. Tulsi strongly stood against the TPP, on the basis that it would hurt American workers while boosting the profits of large, multinational banks and corporations. TPP would limit America’s ability to protect our environment, protect against outsourcing, and compete with countries that have lower labor standards and costs. “In exchange for just 0.15 percent (.015) boost in GDP by 2032, the TPP would decimate American manufacturing capacity, increase our trade deficit, ship American jobs overseas, and result in losses to 16 of the 25 U.S. economic sectors.” NAFTA has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Americans losing their jobs, and trade deals like TPP would only make American job losses even worse.

John DelaneyJohn Delaney, Maryland 6th Congressional Representative voted Yes on Trade Promotion Authority in 2015. John Delaney like Barrack Obama primarily supports banks and lending companies and their ability to create artificial money. As an example, Delaney as a business man started two lending companies. In 1993, Delaney co-founded Health Care Financial Partners (HCFP), to make loans available to smaller-sized health care service. HCFP went public in 1996, and its stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1998. Health Care Financial Partners was acquired by Heller Financial in 1999. In 2000, Delaney co-founded CapitalSource, a commercial lender headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The company provided capital to roughly 5,000 small and mid-size businesses before his departure. CapitalSource continued to be publicly traded on the NYSE after Delaney's election, making him the only former CEO of a publicly traded company to serve in the 113th United States Congress. In 2014, the lender merged with PacWest Bancorp. In 2015 Delaney was the third ranked congressional representative that was willing to work with either Republicans or Democrats based on issues alone. This is favorable as long as you support issues that are for the majority of the people of the USA and not primarily or only for global companies and bank lenders.

Pete ButtigiegAnother 2020 presidential candidate that speaks out against and opposes tariff taxes while ignoring the US Constitution Article I, Section 8, Paragraphs 1-3 is Pete Buttigieg, who has previously been mayor of South Bend Indiana. Tariff taxes are described with the words “Duties, Imposts”, He also complains about China who has used tariff taxes on USA imported goods combined with V.A.T. taxes on imported goods. The USA does not use and charge Value Added Tax. Perhaps people like Buttigieg need to massage their heads while thinking about taxes. Should the USA charge no or very small taxes on imported goods coming from nations like China, while China or another nation charges higher taxes on goods coming from the USA? Again this includes both tariff taxes and the additional V.A.T. (Value Added Tax), which most nations use with taxes for both goods within their nation, while also being taxed on imported goods. The USA does not use this tax. Instead it has individual state sales taxes. People like Pete Buttigieg show ignorance when saying that Americans pay tariff taxes. In reality it is the import companies who pay the tariff taxes. They try to pass this tax onto customers with increased sales prices for their imported goods, but may NOT be able to do this. Should only companies who produce goods in the USA pay taxes? Or should companies who import goods also pay taxes? Regarding economics and trade, Pete Buttigieg is currently acting as a lobbyist for companies who import goods. I do not recommend being a lobbyist.

Julian CastroAnother person who has declared himself as a 2020 presidential candidate is Julian Castro. He was mayor of San Antonia, TX from 2009 to 2014. He also got the job of United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017. He promotes protecting American workers while also being part of global trade, which has a conflict of interest with different nations having different currencies, wages, tax systems, among other things. As mayor of San Antonio, Castro strongly supported NAFTA while wanting to see it expanding.

Another person who has declared himself as a 2020 presidential candidate is Wayne Messam, current mayor of Mirama, Florida after getting elected in 2015. As a presidential candidate he simply has not gotten enough money to fund his campaign. With what they call “Citizens United” today in the USA, means a large sum of money is now required to get elected. Wayne Messam is in favor of using tariffs to crack down on certain countries.

Joseph SestakAnother presidential candidate is Joe Sestak who was the U.S. House Representative from Pennsylvania's 7th congressional district from 2007 to 2011. Joe Sestak wants to re-join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He does not want to have tariff taxes on imported goods. As a congressional representative in 2007 he voted Yes on the United States–Peru Trade Promotion Agreement. Having been part of the US Navy from 1974 to 2005 for over 31 years, he rose to the rank of three-star admiral. His mindset and knowledge is primarily militaristic, while his economic knowledge is minor and limited. As an example, he says, “I believe we must not use tariffs as a weapon in geopolitical disputes that have nothing to do with trade policy”. In contrast to his mindset of seeing tariffs as a weapon, tariffs are instead a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports.

Tom SteyerA billionaire 2020 presidential candidate named Tom Steyer who became a billionaire as a hedge fund manager is a very good example of casino capitalism in the USA. This is with Steyer being the founder and co-senior-managing-partner of Farallon Capital Management, L.L.C. This is an American investment firm that manages capital on behalf of institutions and individuals. Also the co-founder of Onecalifornia Bank, which became (through merger) Beneficial State Bank, an Oakland, CA based community development bank. Congratulations Tom for winning through investments, which is helped the most by an increased federal money supply which results in inflation. Regarding the issue of free trade and TPP, Tom Steyer has not spoken against this or for this. Other issues are more important to him, which includes issues that make money for investors.

Marianne WilliamsonAn American author, Marianne Williamson also has chosen to be a 2020 presidential candidate. She has simply said, “The TPP would need greater protections for workers and the environment for me to support it.” She is mixed with no clear and definite position. However, at least she is not bowing down to the global companies. She at least believes in helping the common people. As an example, she is the founder of Project Angel Food, a volunteer food delivery program that serves home-bound people with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. She is also the co-founder of the Peace Alliance, a nonprofit education and advocacy organization supporting peace-building projects.

Andrew YangAn American lawyer named Andrew Yang is a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. According to the Wikipedia web site, he has amazingly been able to raise over 10 million dollars for his presidential campaign. Yang's unorthodox campaign strategy and platform have attracted attention, especially for his heavy reliance upon Internet-based campaigning, which he seems to be very knowledgeable of. Regarding economics and real wealth creation his knowledge is limited. However, he is perhaps at least honest with his views stating that he believes we need to either enter the TPP or negotiate a similar deal to combat the rising influence of China. Since his parents are originally from Taiwan and historically there has been a conflict between Taiwan and China with Taiwan often wanting to be independent of China this is likely at least part of his views. Looking at actual economics however, Yang should see that it is more than just China. As one example, Japan which is one of the countries of TPP uses currency manipulation. Also many countries use a Value Added Tax, which is similar to USA state sales taxes, but is uniform throughout countries, while also added to imports. Also China could join TPP in the future, which for marketing has been renamed to CPTPP or Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Michael BloombergMillions of dollars is now required for campaign funding to win presidential elections. As an example approximately 400 million dollars was spent on Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign between early-2011 and June 30, 2012 before he promoted TPP for the global for profit companies. Now for the 2020 presidential election even more money is required. Michael Bloomberg the new Wall Street multi-billionaire candidate is a very good example of money in politics today. The only 2020 presidential television adds that I have seen are for his candidacy. I even saw one on the TV Super Bowl game, which has a high cost of perhaps 5.6 million dollars. And recently in an article from Bloomberg he is promoting TPP. The title is “Help American Workers. Pass TPP”. Which workers is he referring to? Of course one of them is Wall Street so called workers who make commissions on the sale of stock. One of the things he is trying to get people to ignore is how real wealth is created in a society or nation. It is NOT created with stocks and bonds. These only keep track of wealth like sheets of paper or paper money. Instead real wealth is created through the actual production of goods and services the lands, buildings machines and knowledge that are used to actually produce goods and services, for example a car used for driving.

In this article it has a very ignorant and false statement of “In fact, the U.S. actually runs a cumulative trade surplus in manufactured goods with our 20 trade agreement partners”. One of our first trade agreement partners is China which was granted MFN status in 2000. Every year since 2000 the USA has had overall trade deficits of over 350 billion dollars. As a one year example, the USA GOODS trade deficit with China was $419.2 billion in 2018, while the USA had a $40.5 billion SERVICES trade surplus with China for 2018. As a result of NAFTA with one example, the USA manufactured GOODS trade deficit with Mexico was $80.7 billion in 2018, while the USA had a $8 billion SERVICES trade surplus with Mexico for 2018. For the other NAFTA nation, Canada, the USA GOODS trade deficit was $19.1 billion in 2018, while the USA had a $28.2 billion SERVICES trade surplus with Canada for 2018. Perhaps Bloomberg thinks that goods such as China produced Smart Phones and computers are not manufactured. Only USA farm products which are the main goods exports in the USA are manufactured and not actually grown on farms. I do not think Bloomberg is dumb. He is just trying to deceive and blind people for his presidential election.