#RNCinCLE Day Two: Will Manufacturing Issues Be the Talk of Today’s Session?

By Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch
Jul 19 2016 |
Inside the Quicken Loans arena during the first day of the Republican National Convention.

The theme is “Make America Work Again.” Trade is likely one thing that will be discussed.

There’s no doubt that there have been some big divisions among Republican party members this presidential cycle, including between those members who endorse or oppose presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

But the campaign also has exposed a big fault line between party members who are ardently pro-trade and those who view it with a heavy dose of skepticism. That debate is likely to hit the Republican National Convention (RNC) floor during today’s session, which carries the theme “Make America Work Again” and is expected to largely focus on economic issues.

The recently unveiled party platform offers a few hints as to where the party is on these issues, and it appears that while Republicans officially remain largely in favor of trade, they do support some trade enforcement measures. A few highlights from the platform.

  • "International trade is crucial for all sectors of America’s economy. Massive trade deficits are not."
  • "We cannot allow China to continue its currency manipulation, exclusion of U.S. products from government purchases, and subsidization of Chinese companies to thwart American imports."
  • "A Republican president will insist on parity in trade and stand ready to implement countervailing duties if other countries refuse to cooperate."
  • "The United States is overwhelmingly dependent on China and other nations for rare earth and other hard rock minerals. These minerals are critical to advanced technology, renewable energy, and defense manufacturing."

We’ll be paying attention to the speakers expected to take the floor tonight, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Dr. Ben Carson. We’re also continuing to spread the word about manufacturing in the Keep it Made in America tent and to a number of state delegations.

And just as another reminder, the Alliance for American Manufacturing is a nonpartisan organization that does not endorse any political candidate. As such, we also will be in Philadelphia next week for the Democratic National Convention, where we are hosting a special town hall event with Gene Sperling, a key economic adviser to presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, which you can attend or watch online.