Categorized | CPA

CO-Sen: Romanoff urges fair trade fight

This article, in the Pueblo Chieftain, arose from CPA’s Colorado Senate Candidate forum that was held on July 20, 2010 in Colorado Springs.


Romanoff urges fair trade fight

(Photo of Andrew Romanoff)
Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:00 am
By PATRICK MALONE | [email protected]

COLORADO SPRINGS — A fair fight is all U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff wants.

He said so Tuesday at a forum at the Stargazers Theatre hosted by the Coalition for a Prosperous America focusing on economic growth, currency and jobs.

“I believe in competition,” Romanoff said. “I know Americans can win a fair fight. This is not a fair fight.”

Romanoff wasn’t referring to his primary campaign against U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet for the Democratic nomination, but rather to the trade disadvantage that the United States faces in the global marketplace.

Romanoff said he supports trade sanctions against nations like China that have devalued their currency to undercut the price of domestic products, which he termed “predatory trade practices.”

To level the trade playing field, Romanoff advocates ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and he said he’d be open to discussing the imposition of trade tariffs on foreign goods that would make domestic products more competitively priced.

“I believe in trade, but it’s got to be fair trade,” Romanoff said. “It’s got to be a level field and give Americans an equal footing.”

He also supports a “buy-American” policy for the federal government.

“It makes no sense at all for us to buy foreign-made goods as a government, when their governments won’t do the same,” Romanoff said.

Romanoff regards investments in the economy such as the federal economic stimulus package to be helpful in that effort.

He pointed to infrastructure projects and education initiatives it funded as firm footing for an economic recovery.

“The best investments we can make are in the things that are most likely to stay here, like our people and our infrastructure,” he said.

Romanoff said candidates are easily lured into disingenuous rhetoric about cutting taxes while offering “services that stretch as far as the eye can see.” Realistically, he said, “the level of taxes you want to pay versus the services you want and need” must be weighed.

He supports a progressive tax that doesn’t unfairly burden the poor, but he said the federal government could use a balanced-budget amendment similar to the one that requires lawmakers in Colorado to move the bottom line into equilibrium annually.

“In Colorado, balancing the budget isn’t just a good idea, it’s the law,” Romanoff said. “That’s an appropriate constraint.”

Romanoff said he opposes expansion of the Army’s maneuver site at Pinon Canyon and sides with property owners who’ve objected to it. Ken Buck, who is running against Jane Norton for the Republican nomination for the same Senate seat that Romanoff is seeking, told the Stargazers crowd he opposes the Army using eminent domain to take the land, but favors individual property owners’ rights to sell.

Romanoff concluded the forum by making a pitch to registered independents to affiliate as Democrats just for the primary in order to cast a vote for him.

“I’m willing to stand up to my own party,” he said. “I’m doing it right now by challenging Michael Bennet in this race.”

Romanoff declared himself a consensus builder, and pointed to the passage of Referendum C, which lifted the limits of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights for five years, as an example. Romanoff was Colorado House speaker at the time voters adopted it, and he said it took a bipartisan effort to get it on the ballot.

Buck used a portion of his remarks to blast Referendum C as fiscally irresponsible.

Norton and Bennet did not appear at the forum. While invited, Norton had a scheduling conflict and Bennet was at the Senate in Washington, D.C.

The coalition, according to its website, “is working for a new and positive U.S. trade policy that delivers prosperity and security to America. .  .  . ’’

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