1992 Democratic Presidential Primary

                           Americans for Harkin
Issues Summary - 8 1/2" x 11", (front and back).

Americans for Harkin
Phone (301) 656-...
FAX (301) 656-...
TDD (301) 656-...

7910 Woodmont Avenue, 10th Floor
Bethesda, MD 20814


The Bush and Reagan administration's have been a disaster for ordinary, hard-working Americans. Under the Bush administration, eight and a half million Americans are out of work. Real wages of the average American worker have dropped nine percent below what they were in 1979. The American economy has grown by less than one percent, the lowest growth rate of any President since Herbert Hoover.

George Bush just doesn't understand working Americans. Tom Harkin does. He grew up poor in a small Iowa town. His mother was an immigrant who died when he was ten. His father was a coal miner-- and a union member-- who relied on charity to fight black lung disease because the family didn't have health care. His brother was a proud UAW member who lost his job and union card to strike-breakers. That's why Tom Harkin fights so hard for working people, and will be a friend of labor as President of the United States.


Top priority for working Americans is an economic policy that promotes growth and creates high-paying, high-skilled jobs. Tom Harkin has outlined a New Growth Agenda that will redirect our priorities to invest in America, in our physical infrastructure and human resources. It calls for stopping the subsidy of the defense of Europe and Japan and investing here at home, getting tough on trade and ending the export of U.S. Jobs, and the promoting of policies that reflect the new realities of the modern workplace.

Tom Harkin will create an economy that improves the standard of living for all Americans with well-paying secure jobs where they can raise their families, educate their children, buy a home and a car, and retire in dignity with good health care.


We lose 23,500 American jobs, according to the administration's own figures, for each $1 billion in our balance of trade. Last year, the United States ran a $100 billion merchandise trade deficit, thus robbing our nation of over 2 million jobs -- good, high-paying jobs making automobiles, auto parts, aircraft, computers, machine tools and electronics. That's a direct result of George Bush's failed trade policies.

Tom Harkin will bring these jobs back to America. A goal of the Harkin Administration will be to eliminate the trade deficit within four years. He will achieve that goal by getting tough on trade, by opposing trade agreements that give away American jobs, by seeking real and measurable changes in Japan so it begins opening up their markets, by cutting off trade benefits to China until it stops using slave labor and starts respecting human rights. And he'll close the revolving door for U.S. trade negotiators for the Reagan and Bush Commerce Departments, nine are now foreign agents, and seven work for Japan. A Harkin Administration will stop that practice.

Tom Harkin is the only presidential candidate to vote against the Bush Administration's proposal for fast-track consideration of the U.S.-Mexico Free Trade Agreement. Under Fast Track, Congress would be forced to consider any future trade agreement with Mexico without the option of amending it, even if America's economic interests were threatened.

Some experts estimate that the Mexico agreement will result in the loss of more than 500,000 American jobs. It's no surprise that American workers fear that this agreement will result in their jobs moving to Mexico where wages are one-seventh of those here in the U.S., where there are weaker protections for workers and less effective environmental protections. Trade is essential for our economic growth, but Tom Harkin believes that we must compete on the quality of our products, not on the misery and suffering of those who make them.


Some 8.5 million Americans are out of work, and every month nearly 300,000 Americans exhaust their unemployment benefits. Tom Harkin knows that the best solution for unemployment is economic growth, but in the short-term those suffering as a result of the current recession must be helped.

Accordingly, Tom Harkin supported legislation declaring the unemployment situation an emergency and extending the benefits of those out of work for up to 20 weeks. George Bush declared emergencies to forgive Egypt's debt or to assist the Kurds and Bangladesh, but he resisted attempts to provide emergency assistance for unemployed Americans. In November 1991, the Congress, with Tom Harkin's support, passed benefits legislation which was finally signed into law.


Tom Harkin is a proud sponsor of S 55, the Striker Replacement Bill. This legislation will restore a fundamental principle to labor-management relations -- the right of workers to strike without fear of losing their jobs.

The right to strike is essential to preserving workers' right to bargain collectively. That right is fundamental to maintaining free and healthy trade unions. But those rights won't be protected unless the threat of permanent replacement is eliminated. Tom Harkin believes in American workers and will fight to protect their right to bargain collectively and to join strong and healthy trade unions.


Tom Harkin knows that medical leave is not just good social policy, it's good economic policy. lf we want our workers to be more productive, we need to adopt policies that help make out workers more secure in knowing that their families are safe, so they can focus on their jobs and not carry all the burdens of their daily lives into the workplace. For this reason, Tom Harkin supports family and medical leave legislation, which provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave for childbirth, adoption, or serious illness. 

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