The Candidates on Trade
King Banian runs the numbers and finds that, despite their rhetorical differences on the stump, all three major presidential candidates are essentially free traders:
- Clinton — very much the interventionist. She only opposed nine of 29 trade barriers in her Senate career, and only one of seven trade subsidy bills.
- McCain is more the free trader. He opposed trade barriers 35 times out of 40 votes on such issues, and eight out of ten votes were against trade subsidies. The latter fits his profile as a crusader against government waste, as most trade subsidy programs are corporate pork.
- Obama, 36% of votes opposed trade barriers (4 of 11). He only voted twice on trade subsidies and supported them both times. An interventionist, though there’s not as much of a record here as you might like to make that call.
The Obama sample is rather small and we can’t see at a glance which votes they went the other way on. Still, this
King will be joining the gang tonight on OTB Radio to discuss this more fully.
UPDATE: As yetanotherjohn points out in the comments, I initially misinterpreted the data because I presumed they were presented in parallel form. Instead, Clinton’s and Obama’s votes are for barriers whereas McCain’s are against them. My apologies for the carelessness.