[CTC_TRADE] Sander Levin | New U.S. House chairman has strong ideas on trade

Andrew Gussert agussert at citizenstrade.org
Fri Mar 5 13:01:59 PST 2010

New U.S. House chairman has strong ideas on trade

Reuters News
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* Levin, like Rangel, has mixed record on trade

* Helped craft compromise on China WTO entry bill

* Believes U.S. trade policy can "shape globalization"

By Doug Palmer

WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - An abrupt change in the leadership of a
powerful tax and trade committee in the U.S. House of Representatives is
unlikely to have much impact on stalled trade agreements with South Korea
and Colombia.

But it does give one of Congress' deepest thinkers on trade policy a much
more prominent role.

Representative Sander Levin, a 14-term Democratic congressman from Detroit,
Michigan, will take over the House Ways and Means Committee pending the
outcome of ethics probes against Charles Rangel, a New York Democrat.

Levin, who has been chairman of the Ways and Means trade subcommittee,
believes the United States should "shape globalization" by negotiating trade
deals that protect worker rights and improve environmental standards.

He also is one of Congress' staunchest defenders of U.S. anti-dumping laws
against unfairly traded imports and has criticized the World Trade
Organization for adverse rulings on that issue against the United States.

"I don't see this as a big wrench in policy," said Ed Gresser, director of
the trade and global markets project at the Democratic Leadership Council, a
centrist Democratic Party group. "There won't be a drastic change."

Dan Griswold, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy
Studies, agreed.

"Levin and Rangel have an almost indistinguishable voting record on trade,"
Griswold said.

Both voted against the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993, but
supported China's entry into the WTO.

Levin, in fact, worked closely with former President Bill Clinton's
administration on a compromise that led to approval of "permanent normal
trade relations" with China.

He and Rangel fought former President George W. Bush on a number of trade
initiatives, including a free trade pact with Central American countries and
the Dominican Republic strongly opposed by labor and environmental groups.

But they supported other trade pacts with Chile, Singapore, Morocco,
Australia and Bahrain.


Levin takes charge of the panel at a time when President Barack Obama says
he wants to resolve problems blocking long-delayed trade deals with South
Korea, Colombia and Panama and finish eight-year-old world trade talks.

The 78-year-old lawmaker has been at the forefront of criticism of the South
Korean and the Colombian deals. He says Seoul needs to do more to open its
market to U.S. autos and other goods, and Bogota has to stop murders of
trade unionists and prosecute the killers.

In the end, the decision whether to allow votes on the three trade
agreements rests more with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi than with Levin.

On that point, Griswold said he was pessimistic of action on any of the
deals this year because of the strong opposition of labor groups.

Gresser said he thought it was too early to predict what would happen.

"So much depends on what happens with healthcare," a legislative priority
for Obama, Gresser said. "Once that's done, we'll see what the
administration wants to do next and how Congress reacts to that."

On the Doha round of world trade talks, Levin has followed the U.S. line
that advanced developing countries like China, Brazil and India must make
better offers to open their markets before a deal is struck.

(Editing by Eric Beech) 



From: ctcfield-bounces at lists.citizenstrade.org
[mailto:ctcfield-bounces at lists.citizenstrade.org] On Behalf Of Andrew
Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 10:17 AM


Sander Levin -- Trade Record


Voted YES on promoting free trade with Peru. (Nov 2007) 

Voted YES on assisting workers who lose jobs due to globalization. (Oct

Voted NO on implementing CAFTA, Central America Free Trade. (Jul 2005) 

Voted YES on implementing US-Australia Free Trade Agreement. (Jul 2004) 

Voted NO on end offshore tax havens and promote small business. (Oct 2004) 

Voted YES on implementing US-Singapore free trade agreement. (Jul 2003) 

Voted YES on implementing free trade agreement with Chile. (Jul 2003) 

Voted NO on withdrawing from the WTO. (Jun 2000) 

Voted YES on $156M to IMF for 3rd-world debt reduction. (Jul 2000) 

Voted YES on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. (May 2000) 

Voted NO on 'Fast Track' authority for trade agreements. (Sep 1998) 


Foreign policy


Voted YES on supporting democratic institutions in Pakistan. (Jun 2009) 

Voted NO on reforming the UN by restricting US funding. (Jun 2005) 

Voted YES on keeping Cuba travel ban until political prisoners released.
(Jul 2001) 

Member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. (Jan 2001) 

Multi-year commitment to Africa for food & medicine. (Apr 2001) 

Seeds of Peace: promote coexistence in regions of conflict. (Apr 2008) 

Acknowledge the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s. (Mar 2007) 

Let Ukraine & Georgia enter NATO. (Jan 2008) 

Acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, as official US policy. (Mar 2009) 

Allow travel between the United States and Cuba. (Feb 2009) 




Voted YES on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution. (Jun 2009) 

Voted YES on tax credits for renewable electricity, with PAYGO offsets. (Sep

Rated 85% by the LCV, indicating pro-environment votes. (Dec 2003) 

Voted YES on criminalizing oil cartels like OPEC. (May 2007) 

Voted YES on starting implementation of Kyoto Protocol. (Jun 2000) 




Voted YES on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (Mar

Voted YES on letting shareholders vote on executive compensation. (Jul 2009)

Voted YES on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (Jan 2007) 

Voted NO on zero-funding OSHA's Ergonomics Rules instead of $4.5B. (Mar

Rated 87% by the AFL-CIO, indicating a pro-union voting record. (Dec 2003) 




Rated 87% by the ACLU, indicating a pro-civil rights voting record. (Dec

Rated 88% by the HRC, indicating a pro-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006) 

Rated 100% by the NAACP, indicating a pro-affirmative-action stance. (Dec

Voted YES on campaign finance reform banning soft-money contributions. (Feb

Voted NO on banning soft money donations to national political parties. (Jul

Voted YES on banning soft money and issue ads. (Sep 1999)


Source: http://www.ontheissues.org/MI/Sander_Levin.htm#Free_Trade


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Michigan lawmaker to head Ways
ttee-2010-03-04> & Means Committee 

MarketWatch -
ex+Nutting%22&scoring=n> Rex Nutting - ‎26 minutes ago‎

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., will become the
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Levin to replace Rangel as tax panel
<http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35707188/ns/politics-capitol_hill/>  chairman 

msnbc.com - ‎27 minutes ago‎

WASHINGTON - Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan will serve as the chairman of the
House's powerful tax-writing committee after former head Rep. ... 


Levin to take reins of Ways and Means

Washington Post -
aul+Kane%22&scoring=n> Paul Kane - ‎27 minutes ago‎

Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), a pro-union, anti-free-trade liberal who is a
close ally of the auto industry, has been selected as interim ... 


Andrew Gussert
Director, Citizens Trade Campaign
1150  17th  Street N.W., Suite 300
Washington, D.C.  20036


Cell#:  202.494.8826
Fax#:  202.293.5308



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