Roemer slams China in front of Chinese Embassy
September 1st, 2011
02:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Roemer slams China in front of Chinese Embassy

Washington (CNN) – Calling China a "bear" that eats American jobs with unfair trade policies as its fork, presidential candidate Buddy Roemer made his jobs speech Thursday in front of a location he called the "bear's den" - the Chinese Embassy.

The former Louisiana governor slammed American politicians and economists for encouraging businesses to move overseas, particularly China, along with their jobs and factories.

"We've become the biggest fools in the world," Roemer said. "Adopting global free trade while other countries impose trade barriers against our products."

Roemer hailed America's industrial age as the country's most sound era in economic policies, citing protective tariffs as the key to keeping manufacturing jobs growing at home.

But after World War II, Roemer said America changed its policies for the worst.

"Worshiping an untested, ivory tower theory of global free trade, our political leaders abandoned the tried-and-true successful policies of tariffs," Roemer said.

As a result, he said, the American tax policies benefit corporations that move operations overseas to places like China, a country known for low wages, minimal child labor laws, poor working conditions and high pollution.

Proponents of free trade argue that it lowers prices of goods and provides economic growth for developing countries.

The former governor blasted President Barack Obama's stimulus package, particularly funding for retraining of American workers.

"There are no jobs. Our jobs are in China," Roemer said. "Is he going to retrain Americans to speak Mandarin?"

But while Roemer praised America's former protective tariff policies, he said he would not support the same practices today, as he claims to not be a "tariff guy."

He, instead, laid out a plan involving tax deductions for companies that employ and buy American workers and products. He also proposed the elimination of foreign tax credits, preventing American corporations from receiving tax breaks for paying taxes in other countries.

"We need a president to get the bear out of the room," Roemer said.

The Chinese Embassy did not respond to requests for comment. Roemer's campaign was granted a permit for the location by the U.S. State Department.

Roemer announced his run for the presidency on July 21. With low name recognition and little money-he only accepts contributions of $100 or less and no PAC money-Roemer has struggled to break into the more competitive pool of GOP candidates.

With his focus on New Hampshire, Roemer is living in the Granite State and said he's seeing a boost in fundraising. Last week, his campaign raised more than $35,600, or as he called it, enough money to pay for a ticket to an Obama fundraiser.

"America desperately needs a crotchety old man like me, who has clear vision of the facts and the wisdom to notice that there's a reason that there's no room to sit safely."

Talking about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the former Louisiana governor said the Lone Star State has done a "great job" under Perry's administration.

"But I've yet to see what his actions were in that. I'd be interested to know what battles he lost," Roemer said. "What more did he try to do and failed to get done?"

Before his tenure as governor, Roemer served four terms as a congressman in the 80s. After leaving public office, Roemer worked as the CEO of Business First Bank.

And while he's experienced, Roemer said that in a world where timing is everything, his political service may have been too long ago.

"My problem is that I'm just not known," Roemer said. "And it's easy to put me aside."

Filed under: 2012 • Buddy Roemer • China • Trade
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Obama 2012

    Who is he???

    September 1, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Aaron

    A politician that speaks his mind, tells it like it is, and doesn't worry about votes. How do we vote for him?

    September 1, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    I like it best move Roemer

    September 1, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    As a result, he said, the American tax policies benefit corporations that move operations overseas to places like China, a country known for low wages, minimal child labor laws, poor working conditions and high pollution.
    First, the man has no class. He's just trying to grab a headline and 15 minutes of fame. He's definitely marching to a different drum from the rest of the GOTP field. Everyone else seems to think the way to compete with the Chinas around the world is to be like them. No regulation, etc.

    The manufacturing problem is about much more than mere labor costs. The cost to shipping the finshed product to the consumer can loom just a large as production labor. Raw materials can shipped relatively cheaply compared to the cost of shipping finished goods, which must be protected and handled with care. The solution to reducing the post-production shipping costs is to move manufacturing closer to the consumer.

    For example, look at all of the low cost "imported" that are built in the USA. The USA and Europe used to be the main consumers of manufactured goods. Now China and India each have a consumer base that is double of USA and Europe combined. Where would place your manufacturing plants under those conditions?

    September 1, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. John in Brooklyn

    Sad that a candidate for president is more interested in pandering and grandstanding than in statesmanship. What incredibly poor form!

    September 1, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  6. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban

    Not a bright idea to name call against our biggest debt holder dummy.

    September 1, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. RG

    ""We've become the biggest fools in the world," Roemer said. "Adopting global free trade while other countries impose trade barriers against our products.""

    This guy GETS it. However, China is blameless, if it were not them, it would be some other country. The blame lies on American businessmen that pressured politicians for favorable laws to export the prosperity of America's middle class. Yes, politicians are to blame too, but not as much as the CEOs that put profit over people.

    September 1, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Rick

    Huh? Who is this guy?

    September 1, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Bryan

    Traditionally the "Bear" represents Russia. China is the "Dragon"

    September 1, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    wouldn't help a bit if American corporations would stop sending jobs overseas for cheap labor? I think that would be a nice start but for some reasons the Republicans aren't bothered by this, UNTIL it might close a factory in their own district.

    September 1, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. TomInRochNY

    Wow! A republican I can agree with. I never thought that would happen again in my life time.

    September 1, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Ed Texas

    Nothing but a cheap attempt to blame a country we depend upon for cheap goods. The real people who need to be blasted are the American public who demand cheap goods from China. A career politian like Roemer isn't going to do that because it won't help him get votes, sell books and/or make money.

    September 1, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |

    A wingnut talking about taking tax breaks away from Wall Street won't get far. Grover Norquist and his pledge signees in the GOBP will see to that. They got rid of President Obama's payroll tax cut to sink America and the American people while calling for tax cuts.

    September 1, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Another used up old man trying to get attention. Americans are looking for people to develop jobs and not someone holding up a sign telling them why they don't have a job and I'm sure the people of Louisiana need jobs.

    September 1, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. Sherry Buckner

    Why does this man get any ink for these antics?
    He was bad for Louisiana and bad for the country.
    He is a yes boy for money interests.
    Just because he issues a press release doesn't mean you have to give this joke space.

    September 1, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. w l jones

    Some people were grown when taken theirs first job while other in this country started before first grade. All country had different rule for child labor. Said enough.

    September 1, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Mike kerns

    He is right with the fact China is destroying our economy with there trade restrictions there currency manipulations but he forgot one thing. And that is our own corporations are making a fortune in this. And the corporations own our government who are the ones that can make this right.

    September 1, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. gt

    its true.. at least he has the guts to call it as it is...

    September 1, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. Steve, New York City

    Let me guess – this guy is a right wing Republican?
    While I agree with his comments on China's unfair trade, this hostile, intolerant "in your face" mentality smacks of the far right.

    September 1, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. Jay

    Who is this guy? What do you mean he's running for President? I have no idea who he is.

    Well, I guess I should put him next to Bachmann, Gingrich, Perry, Huntsman, Cain, Santorum, and others in the My Ego Makes Me Think I Can Win The Election group.

    September 1, 2011 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. Tony

    Wait a minute, there is another Republican running for president? When did this happen? Where did he come from?

    September 1, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Is this clown running for President too?

    September 1, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. S1N

    The guy's a nutjob, but he's mostly right in this case. We need to seriously re-impose and steeply raise tariffs on goods from the countries we outsource our own jobs too.

    September 1, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. S1N

    Now if only we could tariff services. I would love to call a company and not have to speak to "Bob" from "Alabama". I never knew that Alabama was a suburb of Mumbai... /sarcasm.

    September 1, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. alexliss

    Good point but missing the mark. if only the people in the public eye would research more and talk less.

    September 1, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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