Trade with China Dominated Candidate Trump’s Rhetoric. Time for President Trump to Keep His Word.

By Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch
Apr 05 2017 |
President Trump speaks at a campaign event in September 2016. | Photo by Michael Vadon

Trump can show he’s serious about helping blue-collar workers when he meets with Chinese President Xi.

It's the moment that Donald Trump has been waiting for.

For years, Trump talked a big game on China. From the moment he announced his candidacy to his inaugural address, the president has made sure to drive home the point that unfair trade with China has left America in shambles, and that he would be the one to, well, Make America Great Again.

Here's his chance.

Trump will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida this week, and trade issues are expected to be on the agenda. But as Matt McMullan noted on Monday, there's been some speculation that Trump might not rock the boat on trade, at least this time around.

And while senior White House officials told reporters on Tuesday that the president will raise the issue of the U.S. trade imbalance with China when he meets with Xi, they also indicated that most of the trade talk would move toward "framework and dialogues." (Read: They'll talk about how they'll talk about it later.)

Look, we know these things take time. But blue-collar workers are tired of talk. They want action. It's up to us hold Trump to his word.

Stand up for manufacturing workers and tell President Trump to keep his campaign promise to get tough on China.

Now is the time for the United States to assert its rights and compel China to fully comply with its trade obligations. And despite what you might have heard, this can be done without starting a trade war.

For example, Trump and his team can and should take action to ensure China will finally eliminate state-owned enterprises and its massive industrial overcapacity, which has led to tens of thousands of U.S. layoffs in the steel industry alone. The Trump administration also must maintain China's status as a non-market economy, and take concrete steps to rebalance our lopsided trade relationship with China.

Shortly after Trump took office, we promised to hold him accountable on issues like trade and manufacturing job growth. We're going to be watching his meeting with Xi closely, and we're going to keep watching what the Trump administration does in the coming months.

Candidate Trump talked the talk. Now it's time for President Trump to walk the walk.