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Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), the Democratic vice presidential pick, has a couple things in common with his Republican counterpart, Mike Pence.
Not only do both men have experience as governors, but both have solid records on trade
“Global trade is a reality,” Kaine wrote in 2015. And in his time as Virginia governor and a U.S. senator, he acted on this fact.
As Virginia governor, Kaine told Bloomberg News in 2007 that looking beyond our borders is good for the economy:
The only way you’ll succeed [in the global economy] is by being an aggressive competitor rather than trying to hoard your dwindling assets.
That year, he wrote a letter to the Commerce secretary supporting Free Trade Agreements with Peru, Panama, Colombia, and S. Korea:
Global commerce is vital to the economy of Virginia, and we stand in support of those means which further advance the economic prosperity of our Commonwealth.
Having responsible Free Trade Agreements in place will facilitate the ease with which Virginia companies are able to trade with these countries.
As Congress begins consideration of these agreements in the interest of advancing global trade, my Administration will participate in the discussion so that forthcoming Free Trade Agreements may continue to enhance Virginia's economy.
Kaine’s trade support continued when he became a U.S. senator in 2013. He voted for a modernized Trade Promotion Authority in 2015:
In a Virginia that was founded to promote trade and that still maintains an aggressive and optimistic global posture, these bills will help our workers, companies and farms find new export customers. And they will help ensure that global trade is more likely conducted under the higher standards that America demands than under a ‘no rules’ regime favored by China and other competitors.
Kaine followed that with positive comments on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement with 12 Pacific countries that generates nearly 40% of the world’s GDP, saying, "I am having discussions with a lot of groups around Virginia about the treaty itself. I see much in it to like.”
“I see much in the TPP draft — which has now been public and apparent to everybody for quite a while — that I like,” Kaine told Politico on July 11. “There’s one piece that I’m still really digging into is the dispute resolution.”
But politics being politics, when Kaine joined the ticket he sided with his running mate Hillary Clinton in opposing TPP.
Nevertheless, like Pence, Kaine appreciates how important global markets are for creating opportunities for U.S. companies and workers. It’s a refreshing contrast to presidential candidates who are wrong on trade.
Editor's note: An additional quote from Sen. Kaine was added to this post.