Bill Weld on Free Trade

Libertarian Party nominee for Vice President; former Republican Massachusetts Governor


Return to free trade; tariffs counterproductive

The United States should return to a regime of free trade rather than having constant recourse to tariffs. Mr. Smoot and Mr. Hawley tried tariffs in June, 1930, and fanned the flames of the Great Depression.
Source: Speech in New Hampshire by 2020 presidential hopefuls , Feb 15, 2019

Tariffs in 1920s croaked the world economy

Q: Both of the major party candidates have embraced a protectionist anti-free-trade policy. Does free trade benefit America?

WELD: In the purest sense, free trade is always going to benefit the United States compared to other countries because we have the highest rate of productivity and we're the most technologically advanced country in the world. So we're always going to have that edge. And free trade is going to produce high wage jobs in the United States. You know, it's an imperative to get the wage level up in this country. And that's one of the things that's going to do it. You may lose at the margin some low-wage jobs. But free trade over the long haul, even the intermediate haul, is going to increase the wage level in the United States. And the notion that Mr. Trump has of "let's impose these huge unilateral tariffs," we tried that with the Smoot-Hawley tariff in the 1920s and it croaked the world economy.

Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Despite being Libertarian VP, still interested in free trade

Weld won the vice-presidential nomination after a long day at the convention. Many delegates say Weld is not one of them; such as: "He hasn't been in the Libertarian Party for more than about a month. He hasn't read the platform. He came out yesterday in favor of standardized testing in the schools, which is not a Libertarian position," Stewart said. "We're against those kinds of mandates. And at one point yesterday, also in the same Q&A--now, I understand he might have been trying to be facetious, but if he was, it did not go over properly--he said, when asked about free trade, 'Gary, am I allowed to be a free trader?' " [the LP platform calls minimal government management of trade, implying no free trade agreements]

Libertarians may have to get used to Weld's wry humor. For his part, the former Massachusetts governor says he's now committed to the Libertarian cause. "Well, I read the platform yesterday, so now I know all the issues," Weld told me. "It's actually a pretty good platform."

Source: Libertarian Party/NBC News press release , May 30, 2016

Other candidates on Free Trade: Bill Weld on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Larry Hogan (D-MD)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Gov.Bill Weld (R-MA&L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
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Page last updated: Jun 04, 2019