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Monday, May 16, 2022

Beyond the Reckless Rhetoric, Trump’s Ideas on Trade Sound Oddly Familiar

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–June 28, 2016.  Throughout this campaign, Trump’s statements on trade, like everything else he says, have been erratic and irresponsible, full of bluster and the promise of a reckless trade strategy that would put American jobs at risk. The divisive rhetoric in his today’s speech on trade was no different: rejecting the idea that Americans can compete and win in the global economy, hiding behind walls, and offering bluster without a concrete plan to actually create good-paying jobs here in America. As Hillary Clinton said last week, “There’s a difference between getting tough on trade, and recklessly starting trade wars. The last time we opted for Trump-style isolationism, it made the Great Depression longer and more painful.”

Donald Trump’s speech today again doubled down on erratic proposals on taxes and trade that would throw our economy into a recession. But today, in yet another attempt to add some carefully scripted details to his campaign, Trump beefed up his rhetoric with some surprisingly familiar new specifics on trade enforcement. While much of his speech was the same old bluster, there were a few places he got specific—and they were ideas that seem to have moved straight from Hillary Clinton’s policy fact sheets to his teleprompter. Hillary will stand for smart solutions that level the playing field on trade so our workers can outcompete the rest of the world – rather than an incoherent approach.  It’s no wonder he has to borrow some of Hillary’s best ideas – while Donald Trump has spent his career outsourcing jobs to other countries, Hillary Clinton has been fighting for American workers.

Here are just a few places where Donald Trump is late to the party:

1.  “I am going to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified.”

What Hillary Has Said:

  • Hillary Clinton’s Statement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, October 7, 2015: “I can’t support this agreement.”
  • Hillary Clinton’s Fact Sheet on Trade and Manufacturing, April 1, 2015: “Hillary will hit pause and say “no” to new trade agreements unless they create American jobs, raise wages, and improve our national security. After looking at the final terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, including what it contains on currency manipulation and its weak rules of origin standard for what counts as a car that can get treaty benefits, she opposed the agreement because it did not meet her test. And she will hold every future trade agreement to the same high standard.”

2.  “I’m going to appoint the toughest and smartest trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers.”

What Hillary Has Said:
  • Hillary Clinton’s Op-Ed on Trade Policy, February 23, 2016: “First, we have to strongly enforce trade rules to ensure American workers aren’t being cheated. Too often, the federal government has put the burden of initiating trade cases on workers and unions, and failed to take action until after the damage is done and workers have been laid off. That’s backward: The government should be enforcing the law from the beginning, and workers should be able to focus on doing their jobs. To make sure it gets done, we should establish and empower a new chief trade prosecutor reporting directly to the president, triple the number of trade enforcement officers and build new early-warning systems so we can intervene before trade violations cost American jobs.”
  • Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign plan on trade, February 19, 2008: “As President, Hillary will vigorously enforce our trade agreements. To that end, she will appoint a trade enforcement officer and double the enforcement staff at USTR. The current staff is too small to monitor and enforce the increasingly complex trade agreements. Vigorous enforcement of our trade agreements has not been a priority for President Bush—but it will be for Hillary.”

3.  “I’m going to direct the Secretary of Commerce to identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers. I will then direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.”

What Hillary Has Said:
  • Hillary Clinton’s Op-Ed on Trade Policy, February 23, 2016: “First, we have to strongly enforce trade rules to ensure American workers aren’t being cheated. Too often, the federal government has put the burden of initiating trade cases on workers and unions, and failed to take action until after the damage is done and workers have been laid off. That’s backward: The government should be enforcing the law from the beginning, and workers should be able to focus on doing their jobs. To make sure it gets done, we should establish and empower a new chief trade prosecutor reporting directly to the president, triple the number of trade enforcement officers and build new early-warning systems so we can intervene before trade violations cost American jobs.”
  • Hillary Clinton on April 7, 2016: “China illegally dumps cheap products in our markets, steals our trade secrets, plays games with their currency, gives unfair advantages to state-owned-enterprises and discriminates against American companies. . . . We will throw the book at China for their illegal actions.”

4.  “I’m going tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers.”

What Hillary Has Said:
  • Hillary Clinton’s Fact Sheet on Trade and Manufacturing, April 1, 2015: “Hillary has said for almost a decade that we need to renegotiate NAFTA, and she still believes that today. And she would review all of our trade agreements with the same scrutiny.”
  • Hillary Clinton’s Fact Sheet on Trade Policy, April 30, 2008: “NAFTA was negotiated more than 14 years ago, and Senator Clinton believes it has not lived up to its promises. Senator Clinton is the only candidate with a detailed plan to fix NAFTA – one that addresses its shortcomings and brings the agreement up to date. As President, she will work with our trade partners to: dramatically strengthen NAFTA’s labor and environmental provisions; change NAFTA’s investment provisions that grant special rights to foreign companies; strengthen NAFTA’s enforcement mechanisms; and review NAFTA regularly.”

5.  “I am going to instruct my Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator.”

What Hillary Has Said:
  • As a Senator, Hillary Clinton co-sponsored multiple bills that would have required the Bush Administration to take definitive steps to stop China and other countries from harming American interests by undervaluing their currencies. During her tenure as Secretary of State, the value of China’s currency increased substantially.
  • Hillary Clinton’s Op-Ed on Trade Policy, February 23, 2016: “We need to crack down on currency manipulation – which can be destructive for American workers. China, Japan and other Asian economies kept their goods artificially cheap for years by holding down the value of their currencies. I’ve fought against these unfair practices before, and I will do it again. Tough new surveillance, transparency and monitoring regimes are part of the answer – but only part. We need to expand our toolbox to include effective new remedies, such as duties or tariffs and other measures.”

6.  “I am going to instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO.”

What Hillary Has Said:
  • Hillary Clinton’s Fact Sheet on Trade Policy, April 30, 2008: “The Bush Administration has filed less than 3 cases a year at the WTO to challenge our trading partners for breaking WTO rules. That compares to an average of 11 cases filed per year during the Clinton Administration. Meanwhile, our trading partners have been actively pursuing claims against the U.S. at the WTO, filing an average of seven cases per year since 2001. This puts the U.S. on its heels, and puts U.S. workers and businesses at a competitive disadvantage. As President, Senator Clinton will fully utilize the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism to challenge practices that violate WTO commitments.”
  • During Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State, the Administration brought WTO cases against China at twice the rate of the Bush Administration.
  • Hillary Clinton’s Op-Ed on Trade Policy, February 23, 2016: “First, we have to strongly enforce trade rules to ensure American workers aren’t being cheated. Too often, the federal government has put the burden of initiating trade cases on workers and unions, and failed to take action until after the damage is done and workers have been laid off. That’s backward: The government should be enforcing the law from the beginning, and workers should be able to focus on doing their jobs. To make sure it gets done, we should establish and empower a new chief trade prosecutor reporting directly to the president, triple the number of trade enforcement officers and build new early-warning systems so we can intervene before trade violations cost American jobs.”

7.  “If China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets, I will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.”

What Hillary Has Said:
  • Once again, Hillary has already pledged to “throw the book at China for their illegal actions.” She’s consistently supported the use of all of our trade remedies.
  • Testimony before the International Trade Commission in favor of providing section 201 relief for the steel industry and its workers, July 22, 2003: “I strongly support continuation of the President’s temporary import remedy. Allowing the relief to run for its full three-year term is essential to the continued recovery of the American steel industry and to the tens of thousands of jobs it supports. As our country faces difficult economic and international challenges, a vital, healthy domestic steel industry is important not only for the economic health of our nation, but for our national security as well.”
  • Hillary Clinton’s Fact Sheet on Trade Policy, April 30, 2008. “Another important tool in our trade enforcement toolkit is the provision that allows non-governmental actors to petition the government about unfair trading practices by our trading partners. The Bush Administration has failed to utilize this tool. Since President Bush took office, the United States Trade Representative has not only refused to take action based on the five Section 301 petitions that have been filed – it has refused to even open an investigation to find out if our industries are being treated unfairly. As President, Senator Clinton will direct her USTR to investigate and publicly report on all Section 301 petitions that are filed, rather than dismissing them out of hand.”
  • Hillary Clinton remarks on Trade in Pittsburgh PA, April 14, 2008: “I’m also going to provide real relief for U.S. industries hurt by surges of Chinese imports. I’m talking about the special China safeguard in our trade laws, Section 421, which was a precondition for letting China join the WTO. The idea behind these safeguards is simple: Protect American manufacturers from being disadvantaged by an influx of Chinese goods into the American markets. But over the past seven years, every single time the International Trade Commission has recommended that American manufacturers, including the steel industry, get relief, the Bush administration has blocked it. But when I’m president, when the International Trade Commission makes a legitimate finding that Chinese import surges are hurting our manufacturers, I’m going to provide relief.”While Donald Trump has spent his career outsourcing jobs to other countries, Hillary Clinton has been fighting for American workers:
Hillary Clinton has a long record of standing up to abusive foreign trade practices and fighting for American families. As Senator, she stood up to China when they tried to impose tariffs on New York exports. She reached across the aisle to found the Senate manufacturing caucus, and stood for manufacturing workers in cities like Buffalo and Rochester. She voted against CAFTA, the only major multinational trade deal that came before her in the Senate, because it did not meet her high standards. As Secretary of State, she confronted Chinese leaders on issues ranging from human rights to cyber-attacks to climate change.

While Hillary Clinton was fighting for stronger trade enforcement and American manufacturing, and going toe-to-toe with China, Donald Trump was outsourcing many of the goods that he sold, instead of making it in America. Trump has said “the problem with our country is that we don’t make anything anymore,” which, while untrue, Trump must think he knows something about, having manufactured numerous Trump products around the globe – from Trump ties in China and Trump suits in Mexico, to Trump furniture in Turkey, Trump picture frames in India and Trump barware in Slovenia. It’s no wonder Trump defended Mitt Romney’s outsourcing.

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