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CAMPAIGN 2000

Leading Abroad

September 13, 2000

Looking at the foreign policies of Al Gore and George W. Bush reveals significant differences between the presidential candidates. Bush, the Republican, favors a cautious, responsive approach to foreign threats. Democrat Gore supports a broader, more activist role for the United States in international affairs. Here are some of the foreign policy priorities they would be likely to pursue as president.

FOREIGN POLICY

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MILITARY INTERVENTION

Bush

Suggests that crises not directly tied to U.S. interests, such as 1994 Rwandan genocide, might not justify U.S. military intervention. But says isolationism and protectionism are a shortcut to chaos, an approach that abandons our allies and our ideals. Has pledged never to put American troops under U.N. command.

Gore

Supports unspecified extra spending on foreign affairs. Says United States should show willingness to use our strength to lead the world toward what is right and just. Insists United States should pay its U.N. debt in full. *

ARMS CONTROL

Bush

Opposes the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which is supported by the Clinton administration but was rejected by the U.S. Senate. Wants to build a robust national missile defense system, even if doing so antagonizes Russia by violating the ABM Treaty.

Gore

Supports the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Considers the ABM Treaty to be "the cornerstone of strategic stability in the U.S. relationship with Russia."

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CHINA

Bush

Characterizes the relationship between China and U.S. as one between competitors, not strategic partners. Supports the "One China" policy, which says Taiwan and China are part of one nation. But also endorses the Taiwan Security Enhancement Act, which increases U.S. defense cooperation with Taiwan.

Gore

Criticizes China's human rights record and Tibet policy, and expresses impatience with the slowness of political reform. Still, Gore favors future engagement with Beijing. Supports "One China" policy, but opposes the Taiwan Security Act because it will lead to a "sharp deterioration" in regional security by spurring an arms race.

*

RUSSIA

Bush

Believes future U.S. aid should be contingent upon Russia ending brutality in Chechnya. "Russia cannot learn the lessons of democracy from the textbook of tyranny."

Gore

Takes a less threatening position toward Russia, but expresses concern over its sales of arms technology, its repression in Chechnya and failures to reform and combat corruption.

*

TRADE

Bush

Wants to negotiate more trade agreements. Would give priority to a free-trade agreement for the Western Hemisphere. Favors China's entry into the World Trade Organization.

Gore

Supports more trade agreements, but would attach environmental, labor and human rights provisions to them. Favors "increased cooperation and trade with our partners in this hemisphere." Favors WTO admitting China.

* Sources: Associated Press, National Journal, Times research

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