If you watched the first Democratic Presidential candidates debate for a discussion of the candidates’ positions on trade, you are likely to be disappointed. The differences among the Democratic candidates and between them and President Trump will undoubtedly emerge as the campaign proceeds, but the first round of debates shed little light on their positions.

Last week, Senate Democrats released their “Better Deal on Trade and Jobs” trade policy statement. The seven point platform is aimed at preventing outsourcing of American jobs and increasing American exports.

The white paper describes the policy as putting “workers and small businesses first, ahead of corporate special interests.” It aims to “fundamentally transform” American trade policies to “combat those countries that try to cheat on trade,” singling out both China and Russia.

The plan would greatly increase federal scrutiny of foreign trade and investment by American corporations. Perhaps most significantly, it proposes the creation of an American Jobs Security Council, which would review any potential purchase of an American company by a foreign entity, and would have the authority to stop the deal if it determined that it would have a detrimental economic impact, such as the loss of American jobs.
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