John Delaney, Free Trader

On the Campaign Trail:

“Israel is a very strong ally, not just in the Middle East, but anywhere.”

John Delaney to the American Jewish Conference

A self-funding Congressman from Maryland, Delaney is a former businessman whose foreign policy flows from his faith in free-trade economics. Besides immigration, the issues pages of his campaign web site says little on national security or foreign policy questions.

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Defense donations only make up 0.58% of all campaign donations

On Trump: ‘He Doesn’t Value Our Allies’

The way we create a world that is more secure and more peaceful for our citizens and everyone around the world is by engaging with our allies, which is something that the current president is not doing. He doesn’t value our allies the way prior presidents have, and he doesn’t have a framework about how we deal with foreign policy that involves the U.S. engaging with our Allies.

‘Conversation with the Candidate’ with John Delaney: Part 1 — WMUR Interview

On Trade: China Is a Global Threat

The former CEO has criticized China for intellectual property theft and supports building a global alliance to pressure China to open its markets. He commended the president for taking China seriously as a global threat, but opposes the administration’s tariffs, which Delaney argues hurt American farmers and curtail job growth. While in Congress, Delaney was one of a few Democrats who supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and he is interested in revisiting the trade deal if elected in 2020.

What does John Delaney believe?  — PBS

On China and Human Rights:

It is critical that United States foreign policy be based on a solid foundation of moral principles; that foundation is what has always distinguished the U.S. on the world stage. Within that context, we must place a high priority on defending human rights of all people globally and when confronted with human rights abuses by countries with whom we have relations, we must make the resolution of those abuses an important part of our engagement with that country. There should be no exception to this bedrock foundational policy, not in China, not anywhere and the well documented abuses by the Chinese government that are occurring with respect to the Uighurs demand a U.S. and global response. My administration would work closely with appropriate United Nations agencies – and the U.S. Congress – to investigate human rights abuses which have been committed against the Uighur people. I would place this issue front and center in diplomatic discussions with the Chinese government and would urge them to accord human rights protections to all peoples under their domain. With regard to Hong Kong, while I respect the Chinese government’s right to govern within its borders, I will voice strong support for Hong Kong’s right to autonomy awarded to the city by its status as a special administration region. Hong Kong’s ability to manage its own affairs is important to U.S. policy since thousands of U.S. businesses operate out of Hong Kong because of the economic and political protections.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

On Russian Aggression in Ukraine:

‘The United States should take a leading role in demanding Russia’s return to its established borders. I would provide leadership within NATO to deliver a unified message to Moscow that such aggression will not be tolerated. I would engage with elected Ukrainian leaders to support their efforts to push Russia back, including military aide, training and support as appropriate. Russian aggression against Ukraine has become a lost issue since the beginning of the Trump Administration. President Putin has led Russia with an antagonistic and predatory foreign policy, including the invasion into the Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, which are unacceptable. I would not walk away from this challenge as the Trump Administration has done. I would also pursue targeted sanctions against Russian interests to drive this point home.’

Council on Foreign Relations interview

On Saudi Arabia: MBS a Killer

Delaney strongly supports the Senate vote declaring Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Delaney has also praised the Senate’s decision to withdraw military aid from Saudi forces fighting in Yemen. He has not spoken publicly about Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Syria.

What does John Delaney believe?  — PBS

On Venezuela: Sanctions Yes, Regime Change No

It is up to the people of Venezuela to decide who will lead their government. I support the elevation of Juan Guaidó to president following the Venezuelan constitution and will continue to speak out in favor of his leadership. I would not, however, favor any direct intervention in Venezuelan power struggles by the United States, but do support our approach to sanctions. I would provide substantial humanitarian support via USAID and through our participation in multilateral agencies such as the OAS and InterAmerican Development Bank.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

Delaney supports the Trump administration’s sanctions to force the removal of President Nicholas Maduro. He opposes direct U.S. intervention.

“After years of corrupt and failed authoritarian socialist regimes, Venezuela is faced with a humanitarian crisis resulting in millions of displaced refugees and a country in economic ruin,” former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) told HuffPost in an email. “I support the emerging leadership in the country and the United States should provide strong regional leadership in transitioning the new government. The United States should work with our partners in the region to provide significant humanitarian aid that gets to the Venezuelan people.”

Where Democratic Presidential Contenders Stand On The Venezuelan Crisis — Huffington Post

“I’m not in favor of us intervening to change the regime, although I am in favor of the fact that we don’t recognize Maduro as the leader of the country. I’m in favor of sanctions … I think the United States needs to be working with all the other interested countries … What I worry most about the situation is because of the relationship the country has with its neighbors, something like 15% almost 20% of the population has already left the country. So we may actually be watching a dying country … But I don’t favor a military intervention in part because why would we go to war with the group, or people, or the military who are going to be needed to actually save the country.”

Source: SiriusXM — The Big Picture With Olivier Knox: Mob Hits; Middle East Policy (4/3/2019)

On North Korea: ‘Utilize Every Tool We Have’

North Korea is a significant threat to our national security and to the security of our allies and to avoid a catastrophe, we must utilize every tool we have. As the world’s leading economy, we have tremendous leverage and we should make sure that North Korea lacks the resources to threaten the safety of the world. Unfortunately, that leverage in Asia has been significantly weakened by President Trump’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have led to domestic economic growth and strengthened our hand with China.

Houses Passes North Korean Sanctions Bill Cosponsored by Delaney — 10.24.2017 Press Release

It is impossible to predict what agreements could be in the best interests of our national security, and that of our allies, short of a full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. As president, I will always consider options that best serve our national security interest. Negotiations with North Korea seeking to achieve nuclear disarmament have been one of the most challenging issues facing successive U.S. administrations for decades. Progress will be incremental, and we need to be patient yet firm in our approach to this relationship. Direct negotiations with North Korea are essential to achieving agreement on the important issues surrounding nuclear disarmament and normalizing relations. While we must be clear that our ultimate objective will be full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, we should be willing to accept a meaningful and verifiable agreement that takes steps towards denuclearization. We must make clear the path towards our ultimate goal and be steadfast in demanding verified progress before we roll back sanctions. I fear the Trump Administration may agree to removing sanctions against empty measures on the part of North Korea.

Council on Foreign Relations interview

On Israel: Anti-BDS

‘I do support a two-state solution but do not think it should be the position of the U.S. to predetermine what that agreement looks like. The only way that lasting peace can be achieved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is if there are direct, bilateral negotiations between the two parties. The U.S. president can and should be a facilitator and mediator in helping parties come to an agreement, which we have seen done successfully in the past. To help achieve a successful agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, the U.S. can work with regional partners including Egypt and Jordan to provide stability in the conflict. This includes providing Israel – one of our most important and enduring allies – with the necessary resources to defend themselves while also providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population to promote human development and humanitarian services such as education and medical services in ways that reach the people directly.’

Council on Foreign Relations interview

Delaney joined the House Israel Anti-Boycott Act on April 5, 2017 as a co-sponsor.

On Iran Deal: Withdrawal ‘Compromised Responsibility’

Regarding Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran Deal:

By withdrawing from the JCPOA without an articulated go forward strategy to work with the international community to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the President has compromised that responsibility. What makes matters worse, I fear it was done solely for political reasons. I hope that the damage is not permanent and that this mistake does not undermine the hugely important negotiations with North Korea and our national security more broadly.

Delaney Statement on Trump Administration Decision to Withdraw from Iran Deal — 5.8.208 Press Release

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to very quickly ask you on foreign policy. You criticized the Obama-era nuclear deal. Iran has said it is now going to break through yet another limit that was set by that deal on their nuclear program. What would you do as commander-in-chief?

DELANEY: Well I actually voted for the deal. I thought it was imperfect, but I thought it was the right way forward. I would want to get us back in a deal but I think the deal can be better, right.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What makes you think you can get back in the deal if it’s already starting to unravel?

DELANEY: I absolutely think I can get back in the deal and I absolutely can make it better.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Even though the sunset clauses are in 2020 and 2023? 

DELANEY: That’s the problem you’ve got to fix. I think I can get us back in the deal and extend those sunset clauses. I mean foreign policy really needs to be discussed more in this presidential debate. Things like trade- I was one of the few Democrats to support President Obama with his Trans-Pacific Partnership. I don’t think you can run against President Trump unless you supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In the Eyes of ‘the Blob’ and the Secret Intelligence Agencies:

With his business background and conventional policy views, President Delaney would probably work well with policymaking elites, intelligence chiefs, and military leaders disturbed by Trump.


Research: Daniel Ortiz

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