#RNCinCLE Day Four: Trump’s Trade Policies Big Part of RNC Acceptance Speech

By Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch
Jul 22 2016 |
Photo by Gage Skidmore

The Donald doesn’t hold back on the tough trade talk, and targets his presidential opponent.

When Donald Trump accepts the Republican nomination for president in Cleveland on Thursday night, he is expected to reaffirm his commitment to get tough on trade – and also call out presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for supporting trade agreements like NAFTA and China’s entry into the WTO.

In prepared remarks leaked to the press several hours before the speech, Trump certainly doesn’t hold back on the tough rhetoric. He pledges to use his skills negotiating business deals to “bring our jobs back” and “turn our bad trade agreements into great ones.” He continues:

“No longer will we enter into these massive deals, with many countries, that are thousands of pages long – and which no one from our country even reads or understands. We are going to enforce all trade violations, including through the use of taxes and tariffs, against any country that cheats.

“This includes stopping China’s outrageous theft of intellectual property, along with their illegal product dumping, and their devastating currency manipulation. Our horrible trade agreements with China and many others, will be totally renegotiated.”

In his remarks, Trump notes that the United States has lost nearly one-third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997.  And he pointed the finger right at Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

“Remember, it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA, one of the worst economic trade deals ever made by our country,” Trump said. “Never again.”

Trump specifically called out Hillary Clinton for supporting “virtually every trade agreement that has been destroying our middle class.” Besides NAFTA and China’s WTO entry, Clinton also backed a “job killing trade deal with South Korea,” Trump said, adding Clinton supported the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (which Clinton says she no longer favors).

“I have a different vision for our workers. It begins with a new, fair trade policy that protects our jobs and stands up to countries that cheat,” Trump said. “It’s been a signature message of my campaign from day one, and it will be a signature feature of my presidency from the moment I take the oath of office.”

With the party nearly wrapped up in Cleveland, all eyes now turn to Philadelphia, where the Democrats will hold their convention starting Monday.

As we have in Cleveland, Team AAM will be listening for talk about the issues that matter to manufacturing – and we’ll start on Monday afternoon at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where we will host a town hall event on Trade, Jobs and Manufacturing. Gene Sperling, a key economic adviser to Hillary Clinton, will be the keynote speaker.

Be sure to RSVP if you’re planning to be in Philly. If not, sign up here to watch the webcast.