As he ponders running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., increasingly is showcasing his support for free trade with most nations.
With the World Trade Organization (WTO) holding a meeting in Bali last week to push global free-trade agreements, Rubio praised the efforts and doubled down on his support.
The successful WTO negotiations in Bali mark an important first step toward reducing global trade barriers in the 21st century, Rubio said on Saturday. American entrepreneurs and workers can compete with anyone on a level economic playing field. Expanding free and fair trade is a national imperative that will create job opportunities for our own people and help others around the world rely less on foreign assistance and benefit more from the free-enterprise system.
Rubio called for increased free-trade agreements across the globe and pointed to the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being negotiated between the U.S. and the European Union (EU) and other agreements as beneficial for the economy.
We should also continue pursuing regional and bilateral trade agreements such as the TPP with Asia and Latin America and the TTIP with Europe that hold enormous economic promise and where overcoming some of the tougher trade obstacles are more realistic in the shorter term, Rubio said.
While supporting increased free trade with Latin America, Rubio took aim at efforts to lower trade barriers with communist Cuba. Rubio has been a staunch critic of the Castro regime and he disagreed with WTO efforts to end the American embargo of that communist nation.
While overall the WTO agreement is welcome news, I am concerned that U.S. officials reportedly met with Cuban representatives in Bali to discuss the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, Rubio said. There should be no question that the U.S. will not end the trade embargo until the Castro regime releases its political prisoners and holds free and fair elections.
Earlier in the month, Rubio was in London where he made a major speech on foreign policy. During the speech, Rubio made the case for increased free trade with most nations.
We need to capitalize on the already deep economic ties between our two countries, Rubio said in his London speech. An important first step is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Both of our countries should give this agreement the special attention that it deserves. If successful, TTIP will create one of the largest regional economies in the world. It will also help bring new prosperity to both the United States and Europe, providing tangible benefits of our partnership to our citizens.
Rubio also doubled down on his commitment to free trade, calling for the U.S. and the United Kingdom to work together to reduce global trade barriers."
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