June 4, 2013 2:58PM

Congratulations to the Free Traders of the 112th Congress

Do you remember the 112th Congress—the one that repeatedly almost shut down the government while still managing to raise taxes and spending? It turns out they did some interesting things with trade policy. The votes recorded in Cato’s congressional trade votes database have been counted, tabulated, and analyzed, and the results are mixed. The predictable legislative outcome was that with a Republican House and Democratic Senate, the 112th Congress furthered the bipartisan establishment trade policy of reciprocal tariff reduction and unilateral subsidy expansion.

The more interesting revelations come from looking at the voting records of individual members. Rather than simply noting whether a policy would promote or diminish free trade or would increase or decrease America’s engagement in the global economy, Cato’s Free Trade, Free Markets methodology distinguishes between barriers (like tariffs and quotas) and subsidies (like loan guarantees, tax credits, and price supports). This distinction enables us to place members within a two-dimensional matrix.

Media Name: matrix.gif

Free traders are those that oppose both barriers and subsidies. Interventionists are those that support both barriers and subsidies. Isolationists are those that support barriers but oppose subsidies. Internationalists are those that oppose barriers but support subsidies. 

The release of this report offers a wonderful opportunity to name names. First I’d like to point out that last term, three Republican representatives voted consistently to support trade barriers. Just to be clear, these barriers are taxes expressly intended to prevent you from buying things you want. The representatives are Walter Jones of North Carolina, Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, and Steve LaTourette of Ohio. While Walter Jones consistently opposed subsidies (making him the House’s only isolationist last term), Messrs. LoBiondo and LaTourette joined 115 Democrats as interventionists.

With that unpleasantness out of the way, I would like to offer my congratulations and gratitude to the 112th Congress’s free traders. There were 19 in the Senate and 85 in the House. The high number of free traders in the House last term is due mostly to the fact that there was only one trade subsidy vote; if there were more, I’m sure many of these names would disappear from the list, but many would not and they all deserve credit nonetheless.

Free Traders in the House of Representatives for the 112th Congress: Free Traders in the Senate for the 112th Congress:
Sandy Adams

 


 

Kelly Ayotte
Todd Akin

 


 

John Boozman
Justin Amash

 


 

Tom Coburn
Charles Bass

 


 

Bob Corker
Diane Black

 


 

John Cornyn
Marsha Blackburn

 


 

Jim DeMint
Paul Broun

 


 

Lindsey Graham
Michael Burgess

 


 

Chuck Grassley
Quico Canseco

 


 

Orrin Hatch
Steve Chabot

 


 

Dean Heller
Jason Chaffetz

 


 

Jim Inhofe
Mike Coffman

 


 

Jon Kyl
Mike Conaway

 


 

Mike Lee
John Culberson

 


 

John McCain
Jeff Duncan

 


 

Mitch McConnell
Blake Farenthold

 


 

Rand Paul
Stephen Fincher

 


 

Rob Portman
Jeff Flake

 


 

Jeff Sessions
Chuck Fleischmann

 


 

Pat Toomey
John C. Fleming

 


 


 

Randy Forbes

 


 


 

Trent Franks

 


 


 

Cory Gardner

 


 


 

Scott Garrett

 


 


 

Phil Gingrey

 


 


 

Louie Gohmert

 


 


 

Paul Gosar

 


 


 

Tom Graves

 


 


 

Tim Griffin

 


 


 

Ralph Hall

 


 


 

Richard Hanna

 


 


 

Andy Harris

 


 


 

Joe Heck

 


 


 

Jeb Hensarling

 


 


 

Wally Herger

 


 


 

Tim Huelskamp

 


 


 

Bill Huizenga

 


 


 

Lynn Jenkins

 


 


 

Sam Johnson

 


 


 

Tim Johnson

 


 


 

Jim Jordan

 


 


 

Steve King

 


 


 

Jack Kingston

 


 


 

Raul Labrador

 


 


 

Doug Lamborn

 


 


 

Leonard Lance

 


 


 

Jeff Landry

 


 


 

James Lankford

 


 


 

Bob Latta

 


 


 

Kenny Marchant

 


 


 

Tom McClintock

 


 


 

Jeff Miller

 


 


 

Mick Mulvaney

 


 


 

Randy Neugebauer

 


 


 

Kristi Noem

 


 


 

Alan Nunnelee

 


 


 

Steven Palazzo

 


 


 

Erik Paulsen

 


 


 

Tom Petri

 


 


 

Ted Poe

 


 


 

Mike Pompeo

 


 


 

Bill Posey

 


 


 

Thomas Price

 


 


 

Ben Quayle

 


 


 

Todd Rokita

 


 


 

Thomas Rooney

 


 


 

Dennis Ross

 


 


 

Ed Royce

 


 


 

Paul Ryan

 


 


 

Steve Scalise

 


 


 

Jean Schmidt

 


 


 

David Schweikert

 


 


 

Austin Scott

 


 


 

Jim Sensenbrenner

 


 


 

Steve Southerland

 


 


 

Cliff Stearns

 


 


 

Marlin Stutzman

 


 


 

John Sullivan

 


 


 

Scott Tipton

 


 


 

Tim Walberg

 


 


 

Daniel Webster

 


 


 

Allen West

 


 


 

Lynn Westmoreland

 


 


 

Rob Woodal

 


 


 

Todd Young