Republican Platform Focuses On Broad Range Of Issues

The platform adopted at the Republican National Convention last week calls for a wide range of
government initiatives dealing with national security, energy policy, the environment, education,
taxes and government reform, including an outline of how a McCain-Palin administration would deal
with international trade and competitiveness in a global economy.

The 64-page document’s preamble says it is “grounded in our heartfelt belief that our
principles, our policies and our vision will lead our American family, not just through present
dangers, but to a horizon of prosperity and liberty mankind has only begun to explore.”

Calling for “Free and Fair Trade,” the document says “greater international trade,
aggressively advanced on a truly level playing field will mean more American jobs, higher wages,
and a better standard of living” and  “it is an instrument of national security.” Pointing out
that 95 percent of the world’s customers are outside of the United States, the platform says “we
need to be at the table when trade rules are written to make sure that free trade is indeed a
two-way street.”

The Republican Party leaders say a new administration will encourage multilateral, regional
and bilateral agreements that reduce trade barriers that today limit market access for US products,
commodities and services. The platform calls for reinstatement of the president’s trade promotion
authority, which trade officials believe is an essential element in reaching any future trade
agreements. It also says trade agreements that have already been signed and are pending before
Congress — such as those with Colombia, Panama and South Korea — should be debated and voted on

The party pledges to take stronger action to protect intellectual property rights against
pirating and to aggressively oppose the direct or indirect subsidies by which some governments “
tilt the world playing field against American producers.”

The platform says that while the Republican Party welcomes the emergence of a “peaceful and
prosperous China,” it adds that China must fulfill its World Trade Organization obligations,
particularly related to protection of intellectual property rights, elimination of subsidies and
repeal of import restrictions. It adds that China’s full integration into the global economy
requires that it adopt a flexible monetary exchange rate and allow free movement of capital.

The platform pledges to continue close associations throughout the Americas including “
mutually beneficial” trade agreements. It also calls for expanded trade with African nations.

Another section urges using education reform and the tax code to promote competitiveness.
Among other things, it calls for reforming and making permanent the Research and Development Tax
Credits. It also advocates modernizing the government’s retraining and unemployment adjustment
assistance programs and making greater use of community colleges in retraining programs.

In a section entitled “Keeping Good Jobs in America,” the platform calls for a major
reduction in the corporate tax rate, which it says is one of the highest in the world, so that
American companies can stay competitive with their foreign counterparts and invest in modern,
job-producing facilities at home.

September 9, 2008