At the RNC, VP Mike Pence Criticizes Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden on China

Tags Trade
Photo by Gage Skidmore

But other than that, trade and manufacturing didn’t really come up.

The third night of the Republican National Convention took place on Wednesday amid the backdrop of a busy news cycle that saw a Category 4 hurricane slam the Louisiana coastline, professional sports teams striking in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, and continued civil unrest and protest in many of America’s cities.

Oh, and that whole coronavirus pandemic is still going on.

Still, a litany of Republican supporters delivered a mix of pre-recorded and live remarks from the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. during the unprecedented virtual convention. While the speakers touched on a variety of subjects, the Alliance for American Manufacturing is a non-partisan institution, and we continue to tune in to monitor any remarks about manufacturing and trade.

These policies weren’t addressed as much on Wednesday compared to previous nights, except for a brief comment from Vice President Mike Pence, who accepted his nomination with a live speech before a crowd of approximately 135 onlookers at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore. Ft. McHenry was the site of a battle during the War of 1812 that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

"Where we fought for free and fair trade, and this president stood up to China and ended the era of economic surrender, Joe Biden has been a cheerleader for Communist China," Pence said. "He wants to repeal all of the tariffs that are leveling the playing field for American workers, and he actually criticized President Trump for suspending all travel to China at the outset of this pandemic."

Overall, the night seemed to return to the GOP basics, focusing on law and order, foreign policy, and shoring up Trump’s support of American women, a voting block where his support has been waning. Pence took to the opportunity to praise America’s law enforcement and military communities while accusing Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, of being soft on the rule of law in America’s cities.

“You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” Pence said. “Under President Trump, we’re not going to defund the police – not now, not ever. We will have law and order on the streets of this country.”

Pence’s comments came after three consecutive nights of violence and protests in Kenosha, Wis., after police shot Blake seven times in the back. There have also been ongoing protests in several major American cities including Portland, Oregon, Seattle, and Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Pence also referred to President Trump’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Pence has overseen the administration’s coronavirus task force since early March.

“President Trump marshalled the full resources of the federal government and directed us to forge seamless partnerships with governors across America in both political parties,” Pence said.

As the government grapples with a weakened economy and opening of schools, Pence said: “I promise you we’ll continue to put the health of America first.”

The virtual convention also featured speeches from several military veterans including U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) a retired lieutenant commander and former Navy Seal; Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), an Iraq war veteran; Keith Kellogg, the vice president’s national security advisor who is a retired Army lieutenant general; and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a retired lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard. These military veterans praised Trump for his foreign policy skills and his restraint of not jumping too quickly into any unnecessary military conflict.

At the conclusion of Pence’s speech at Ft. McHenry, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump approached the stage to congratulate the VP.

It’s no secret that Trump prefers a live audience, and his Thursday night acceptance speech is set to be given live before a crowd of several hundred on the south lawn of the White House. Once again, we'll be listening for any references to trade, manufacturing and putting Americans back to work.