Baldwin: ‘Free trade with all, entangling alliances with none’

While speaking with a group of Ron Paul Meetup members, Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin fielded questions on medical marijuana and foreign policy.

Of medical marijuana, he said it was a “state’s issue” and “the federal government should have nothing to do with it.”

On foreign policy, he came out strongly against the wars, nation building, and the United Nations. Of particular note was his statement on trade: “We have to get back to Washington, to Jefferson, to the founding fathers; free trade with all, entangling alliances with none.”

Many free-market conservatives and “paleo” libertarians have been troubled by Baldwin’s apparent protectionism. Recently, Cato published a blog detailing Bob Barr‘s opposition to free trade. If Baldwin comes out for free trade and Barr against it, a “Libertarians for Baldwin” group might have legs.

Below is the YouTube of Baldwin’s talk:

11 thoughts on “Baldwin: ‘Free trade with all, entangling alliances with none’

  1. darolew

    What does Baldwin consider “free trade”? Has he renounced his earlier stated position?

  2. Trent Hill

    Id say the mere fact that Barr is a protectionist means that a “Libertarians for Baldwin” group woul have legs.

  3. Jerry S.

    FAIR free trade is what BaldWIN believes! Why can’t people get their brains around that ? There is not free trade when we allow their (whoever) goods into our markets with low tariffs or freely, but they impose high tariffs and/or block our goods from their market. The objective is true free trade both ways. Anything else ISN’T free trade.

  4. G.E. Post author

    Jerry – Sorry, but you’re wrong. Adam Smith proved you so back in SEVENTEEN-SEVENTY-SIX. You are talking mercantilism.

    The only “fair” trade is FREE trade, and FREE trade means no government restrictions on MY ability to buy or sell goods, PERIOD. That’s what you call capitalism. You sound like you’re for central planning.

  5. G.E. Post author

    Jerry – You do realize that your position on trade is 100% diametric opposite to that of Ron Paul’s, right?

  6. BillWoolsey

    Baldwin claims he supports “Free Trade” here,
    but on his campaign website he calls for
    a trade policy directed to protecting American
    jobs. He calls for tariffs that are based on the difference between the cost of producing goods in the U.S. and overseas.

    This is _Protectionism._

    Baldwin is making an issue of trade and his position is _extreme_ protectionist.

    Barr, on the other hand, isn’t making an issue of trade at all. This makes his position less important in the context of the campaign.

    His voting record in Congress was mainstream Republican “free trade.” This involves general support for opening markets, but with exceptions.

    There are some members of Congress who are good on trade. They vote push for opening markets and vote against the exceptions. They are the minority among Republicans.

    Protectionists, who are pushing to close markets to protect jobs are also a minority. (Listen to Lou Dobbs lambast the Bush administration and the Republicans in Congress any day.) Pat Buchanan is a protectionist.

    Barr was in the middle on this issue.

    Ron Paul has is own, idiosyncratic, position where he votes with the protectionists often, because all of the trade opening proposals are inadequate. However, he doesn’t claim that he is doing this to protect jobs. And calls for unilateral free trade.

    Personally, I don’t care whether Barr adopts the more “mainstream” Cato approach or else Ron Paul’s absolutism. Both would be fine with me.

    If he continues to favor the mainstream, Republican approach, that would be bad, but as long as he isn’t making this an issue… I am not

    Baldwin, on the other hand, is horrible on the issue.

    To sum up…

    Barr is saying nothing on trade, but his record showed little interest in moving in the correct direction towards more open markets.

    He is failing to advocate libertarian change, but
    he is not advocating anti-libertarian policies.

    He certainly isn’t trying to compete with the
    Democrats in proposing to protect jobs from foreign competition.

    Baldwin is making trade an issue and taking
    an extreme anti-libertarian position.

    The notion that libertarians can ignore the fact that Baldwin is making an issue of trade and proposing anti-libertarian policies because Barr’s record on Congress wasn’t good on trade is delusional.

    Yes, maybe Baldwin is peddling populist nonsense that, if implemented, would impoverish the U.S., but isn’t like Barr is proposing unilateral free trade, so what difference does it make? Crazy.

    Big bad change vs. nothing. I go for nothing every time.

  7. G.E. Post author

    The fact that Barr, A LIBERTARIAN (supposed), doesn’t even seem to care about free trade — the foundation for capitalism — is embarrassing!

    His “middle of the road” approach, which isn’t even in the middle, is NOT libertarian.

    Barr may be “better” on trade than Baldwin. A “D-” vs. an “F”. But Baldwin is better on U.S. sovereignty, an “A+” vs. a “C” or worse.

    Overall, I think Baldwin comes out better when it comes to the general issue of trade. He’s a horrible protectionist — which there is no excuse for — but repealing NAFTA and getting out of the WTO are necessary for free trade, and at least he would take us in that direction. Barr is oblivious, just as he is on central banking.

  8. G.E. Post author

    Prof. Woolsey – Where on Baldwin’s Web site do you see this? I couldn’t find it.

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