USA*Engage and NFTC Release 2006 Elections Analysis

Friday, 17 November 2006

Key findings of the Elections Analysis include:

• In 8 of the 10 Senate races analyzed, successful candidates mentioned trade explicitly on his or her website when discussing campaign issues.  Based on these websites and other statements, USA*Engage estimates that 5 of the successful candidates are clearly less-inclined towards free trade and engagement than the incumbent based upon his or her historical voting record.   Two incoming Senators advocated policies that could be construed as more inclined towards free trade and/or international engagement than his or her predecessor.
• In the House races analyzed, only 29 out of 53 successful candidates made any mention of international trade in the section on his or her website devoted to key campaign issues.
• Of the 29 House races in which trade was featured in the “on the issues” section of the successful candidate’s website, only 10 winners appear to advocate policies that are clearly less-inclined towards free trade and engagement than his or her predecessor.
• Of the 29 House races, 6 candidates advocated policies on their websites or in other statements that could be construed as more inclined towards free trade and/or international engagement.
• 37 out of 53 successful House candidates discussed immigration or border security.  Platforms among successful candidates ranged from building fences and deporting illegal immigrants to supporting comprehensive immigration and border reform to defeating “rabidly anti-immigrant” forces in the United States.

“Frankly, international trade was just not a decisive issue in most of the campaigns,” said William A. Reinsch, President of the National Foreign Trade Council.  “And while we have lost a few key champions of trade and engagement, I am optimistic that there will be opportunities for Congress to support a positive international economic agenda that will benefit American companies and workers.”

“One positive trend in the report is the desire of a number of incoming Members to build diplomatic bridges with our allies and open channels of communication with our enemies,” continued Jake Colvin, Director of USA*Engage.  “We hope that the new Congress will be inclined to take a fresh look at some of our sanctions programs as well as the important trade and economic issues we face.  We look forward to working with new Members on these important issues.”

The report can be found here

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USA*Engage (www.usaengage.org) is a coalition of small and large businesses, agriculture groups and trade associations working to seek alternatives to the proliferation of unilateral U.S. foreign policy sanctions and to promote the benefits of U.S. engagement abroad. Established in 1997 and organized under the National Foreign Trade Council, USA*Engage leads a campaign to inform policy-makers, opinion-leaders, and the public about the counterproductive nature of unilateral sanctions, the importance of exports and overseas investment for American competitiveness and jobs, and the role of American companies in promoting human rights and democracy. The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.