Donald Trump on Free Trade
2016 Republican incumbent President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
Economists and experts told NBC News this is false. Consumers purchasing foreign goods are the ones who picked up the tab. J.P. Morgan estimated the cost of these tariffs on average U.S. families was more than $1,000.
Trump's decision to nominate Malpass was met with some pushback, with critics contending Malpass held views that are hostile to the bank's mission, which is to reduce poverty in developing nations through financial assistance.
The US president has chosen the leader of the World Bank since its founding in 1945, but the pick has to be confirmed by the organization's board of directors. If confirmed, Malpass would succeed Jim Yong Kim, who was chosen by President Barack Obama in 2012 to lead the organization and re-nominated in 2016.
I've followed through on my campaigning promise and withdrawn America from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. So that we can protect our economic freedom. And we're going to make trade deals, but we're going to do one-on-one, and if they misbehave, we terminate the deal and then they'll come back and we'll make a better deal. None of these big quagmire deals that are a disaster. Just take a look--by the way, take a look at NAFTA, one of the worst deals ever made by any country, having to do with economic development. It's economy un-development, as far as our country is concerned.
TRUMP: Because I did disagree with Ronald Reagan very strongly on trade. I disagreed with him. We should have been much tougher on trade even then. I've been waiting for years. Nobody does it right.
CLINTON: This is the way Donald thinks about himself, puts himself into the middle and says, "I alone can fix it," as he said on the convention stage.
TRUMP: Yeah, we've heard this before, Hillary. And frankly, now we're going to do it right.
Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people, but we have people that are stupid. We have people that are controlled by special interests. And it's just not going to work
Fact -Check: The agreement updates NAFTA, covering things such as digital commerce, which barely existed when the original deal was signed a quarter-century ago. But despite the president's claims, USMCA is mostly a cosmetic refreshing of NAFTA, not a wholesale replacement. On the whole, the USMCA's economic effects are expected to be modest. The main benefit of the deal is that it avoids the disruption that would have come had Trump made good on his threat to scrap NAFTA with no replacement.
FACT-CHECK: One analysis of the Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) found that about 851,700 U.S. jobs were displaced by the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico between 1993 (shortly before NAFTA was implemented) and 2014. That's a data point that was cited by Bernie Sanders during his 2016 campaign, when he frequently decried job losses due to NAFTA.
A 2014 study found that while NAFTA has caused about 203,000 jobs to be displaced by NAFTA-related imports annually, imports support 188,000 new jobs, leading to a net loss of only about 15,000 annually.
And the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service wrote in 2017 that "in reality, NAFTA did not cause the huge job losses feared by the critics... because trade with Canada & Mexico accounts for a small percentage of U.S. GDP."
Our new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement--or USMCA--will replace NAFTA and deliver for American workers: bringing back our manufacturing jobs, expanding American agriculture, and ensuring that more cars are proudly stamped with four beautiful words: made in the USA.
Clinton: Well, that is just not accurate. I was against it once it was finally negotiated and the terms were laid out.
TRUMP: We have a trade deficit with Mexico of $58 billion a year. We're going to make them pay for that wall. The wall is $10 billion to $12 billion. I don't mind trade wars when we're losing $58 billion a year. Mexico is taking our businesses. They de-value their currencies to such an extent that our businesses cannot compete with them, our workers lose their jobs. You wouldn't know anything about it because you're a lousy businessman.
And you say to yourself, "How does that help us? Where is that good"? It's not. So I would say, "Let me give you the bad news. Every car and every part manufactured in this plant that comes across the border, we're going to charge you a 35% tax, and that tax is going to be paid simultaneously with the transaction.
Now, if it's not me in the position, here's what's going to happen: They're going to get a call from the donors or from the lobbyist for Ford and say, "I take care of you, and you can't do that to Ford."
I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyists. I'm not using donors. I don't care.
TRUMP: First of all, China is paying. They're paying billions and billions of dollars. I just gave $28 billion to our farmers.
BIDEN: Taxpayer's money. Didn't come from China.
TRUMP: No, no. You know who the taxpayer is? It's called China. China pays $28 billion, and you know what they did to pay it, Joe? They devalued their currency and they also paid up, and you know got the money? Our farmers, our great farmers, because they were targeted. You never charged them anything. Also, I charged them 25% on dumped steel, because they were killing our steel industry. We were not going to have a steel industry. And now we have a steel industry.
BIDEN: There's a reason why he's bringing up all this malarkey. He doesn't want to talk about the substantive issues. [Based on] the decisions you're making, middle-class families like I grew up in Scranton, they're in trouble.
The request was made during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. In Bolton's book, the former adviser paints the president as someone consumed with winning a second term and willing to pressure, cajole and plead with foreign powers to aid his quest.
'Trump's conversations with Xi reflected not only the incoherence in his trade policy but also the confluence in Trump's mind of his own political interests and U.S. national interests,' Bolton writes according to an excerpt published in the Wall street Journal. 'Trump commingled the personal and the national not just on trade questions but across the whole field of national security.'
BUTTIGIEG: Well, the president clearly has no strategy. You know, when I first got into this race, I remember President Trump scoffed and said he'd like to see me making a deal with Xi Jinping. I'd like to see HIM making a deal with Xi Jinping! Is it just me, or was that supposed to happen in, like, April? We saw it at the G7 [international policy meeting]. The leaders of some of the greatest powers and economies of the world sitting to talk about one of the greatest challenges in the world, climate change, and there was literally an empty chair where American leadership could have been.
We are now making it clear to China that after years of targeting our industries, and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end.
Therefore, we recently imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods--and now our Treasury is receiving billions of dollars a month from a country that never gave us a dime. But I don't blame China for taking advantage of us--I blame our leaders and representatives for allowing this travesty to happen. I have great respect for President Xi, and we are now working on a new trade deal with China. But it must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs.
A U.S. Treasury spokesman confirmed that the Treasury Department's semi-annual report on currency practices of major trading partners, due out later this week, will not name China a currency manipulator. "They're not currency manipulators," Trump said about China. The statement is an about-face from Trump's election campaign promises to slap that label on Beijing on the first day of his administration as part of his plan to reduce Chinese imports into the United States.
The Wall Street Journal paraphrased Trump as saying that the reason he changed his mind on the currency issue was because China has not been manipulating its yuan for months and because taking the step now could jeopardize his talks with Beijing on confronting the threat from North Korea.
TRUMP: Energy is under siege by the Obama administration. The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, is killing these energy companies. And you take a look at what's happening to steel and the cost of steel and China dumping vast amounts of steel all over the United States, which essentially is killing our steelworkers and our steel companies. It's an absolute disgrace.
CLINTON: First of all, China is illegally dumping steel in the United States and Donald Trump is buying it to build his buildings, putting steelworkers and American steel plants out of business. That's something that I fought against as a senator and that I would have a trade prosecutor to make sure that we don't get taken advantage of by China on steel or anything else.
TRUMP: The 45% tariff is a threat. It's not a tax, it was a threat. It will be a tax if they don't behave. Take China as an example. I have many friends, great manufacturers, they want to go into China. They can't. China won't let them. We talk about free trade. It's not tree free trade; it's stupid trade. China dumps everything that they have over here. No tax, no anything. We can't get into China. The best manufacturers, when they get in, they have to pay a tremendous tax. The 45% is a threat that if they don't behave, we will tax you. It doesn't have to be 45, it could be less. But it has to be something because our country & our trade & our deals and most importantly our jobs are going to hell.??
Q: Will you promise that you will move your clothing collection to the US, the clothes that are made in China and Mexico?
TRUMP: I will do that. And by the way, I have been doing it more and more. But they devalue their currencies, in particular China. Mexico is doing a big number now, also. Japan is unbelievable what they're doing. They devalue their currencies, and they make it impossible for clothing-makers in this country to do clothing in this country. The Trans-Pacific Partnership--which Marco is in favor of---they don't take into concurrence the devaluation. They're devaluing their currency.
RUBIO: The answer is, he's not going to do it. And you know why? The reason why he makes it in China or Mexico is because he can make more money on it.
I know from my own experience that this is a difficult problem. The Chinese are very savvy businesspeople, and they have great advantages over our manufacturers. I've had several Trump-brand products made there.
Remember: The Chinese need us as much as we need them. Maybe even more.
When did we beat Japan at anything? They send their cars over by the millions, and what do we do? When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Tokyo? It doesn't exist, folks. They beat us all the time.
When do we beat Mexico at the border? They're laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they're killing us economically. The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems.
Onshoring has huge potential. That's why Congress need to pass Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf's bill called the "Bring Jobs Back to America Act" (H.R.516) to help expand the onshoring movement and get American jobs back where they belong--here in America.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow acknowledged that the Chinese do not directly pay tariffs on goods coming into the US, but instead American importers pay and oftentimes pass it on to US consumers, contradicting Pres. Trump's claims. Kudlow said that "both sides will suffer on this," but argued that China will suffer significant GDP losses as export markets are hit. The blow to US GDP won't be substantial since the economy is "in terrific shape," he said.
"When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so... We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN," Trump wrote in a December 2018 tweet.
Trump is misstating how tariffs work. Tariffs are a fee charged by the U.S. when a good is brought into the U.S. They're designed to make foreign made goods more expensive--thus boosting domestic producers--but that expense, charged to the importer, is typically passed down to American consumers.
"People have no idea how badly our country has been treated by other countries," Trump said. "They've destroyed the steel industry, they've destroyed the aluminum industry, and other industries, frankly."
Trump railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement and the nation's trading partners throughout his campaign. Speaking at the shuttered Osram Sylvania factory in Manchester NH in June 2016, he said, "New Hampshire has lost 31 percent of their manufacturing jobs since NAFTA," which went into effect in 1994, when Bill Clinton was president, Trump said. He called the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995 "another Clinton disaster."
We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones. And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules.
"This is the policy that ensures no one gets left behind in America anymore--that we protect our industry from unfair competition, favor the products produced by our fellow citizens and make certain that when jobs open those jobs are given to American workers first," the White House said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear how much the administration could accomplish without cooperation from Congress. However, industry experts said Trump's executive order was a good first step to protecting the U.S. defense industrial base, and U.S. firms that do business with the federal government.
I just met with officials and workers from a great American company, Harley-Davidson. I asked them how they are doing with international sales. They told me--without even complaining because they have been mistreated for so long that they have become used to it--that it is very hard to do business with other countries because they tax our goods at such a high rate. They said that in one case another country taxed their motorcycles at 100 percent.
They weren't even asking for change. But I am. I believe strongly in free trade but it also has to be FAIR TRADE. President Lincoln, warned that the "abandonment of the protective policy will produce want and ruin." Lincoln was right--and it is time we heeded his words.
One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been redistributed across the entire world. But that is the past.
From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it's going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.
Yes, for as far back as we have records: in his 2015 book, in his 2011 book, and in his 2000 book. Some sample excerpts:
When a company in Germany makes goods to sell at home, it has to pay the VAT. But if it makes them to sell in the US, it doesn't--the tax gets waived at the border. If a US company sells in Germany, it does have to pay the VAT. [The UC Irvine] interpretation is that] border adjustability turns the VAT into an "implicit export subsidy" for foreign companies and an "implicit tariff" on US exporters. This is just dead wrong. Everybody has to pay Germany's VAT when they're selling goods in Germany. Nobody has to pay Germany's VAT when they're selling goods outside of Germany.
You can't really blame Trump for this one: a guy with a PhD in economics fed this stuff to him.
TRUMP: I am all for free trade, but it's got to be fair. When Ford moves their massive plants to Mexico, we get nothing. I want them to stay in Michigan.
Q: But the American Enterprise Institute says, your Trump Collection clothing line, some of it is made in Mexico and China.
TRUMP: That's true. I want it to be made here.
Q: The point is you're doing just what Ford is--you're taking advantage of a global trading market.
TRUMP: I never dispute that. I just ordered 4,000 television sets from South Korea. I don't want to order them from South Korea. I don't think anybody makes television sets in the United States anymore. I talk about it all the time.˙We don't make anything anymore. Now you look at Boeing.˙Boeing's going over to China.˙They're going to build a massive plant because China's demanding it in order to order airplanes from Boeing.
Government needs to stop pick-pocketing your wallet. Every time it does, it slows growth and kills jobs. It's also immoral.
Summary from Congressional Record and Wikipedia:Vote to amend the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and establish the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Rather than a wholly new agreement, it has been characterized as "NAFTA 2.0"; final terms were negotiated on September 30, 2018 by each country. The agreement is scheduled to come into effect on July 1, 2020.
Case for voting YES by Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL); (Dec. 19, 2019)The USMCA includes stronger protections for American workers and enforceable labor standards, as well as environmental protections. It eliminates the Trump Administration's threat that the US could walk away entirely from the trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, which would devastate US jobs and our economy.
Case for voting NO by Jared Huffman (D-CA); (Dec. 19, 2019) Democratic negotiators did a lot to improve Donald Trump's weak trade deal, especially in terms of labor standards and enforcement, but the final deal did not reach the high standard that I had hoped for. The NAFTA renegotiations were a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lift labor and environmental standards across the continent--to lock in serious climate commitments with two of our largest trading partners and dramatically improve labor standards and enforcement to slow the rise of outsourcing.
Legislative outcome: Bill Passed (Senate) (89-10-1) - Jan. 16, 2020; bill Passed (House) (385-41-5) - Dec. 19, 2019; signed at the G20 Summit simultaneously by President Trump, Mexican PresidentÂ Enrique Nieto, and Canadian Prime MinisterÂ Justin Trudeau, Nov. 30, 2018
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