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Donald Trump on Free Trade

2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President

 


I disagreed with Ronald Reagan on trade; we need better

CLINTON: When I hear Donald's slogan, "Make America Great Again," I wonder when he thought America was great. And before he rushes and says, "You know, before you and President Obama were there," I think it's important to recognize that he has been criticizing our government for decades. Back in 1987, he took out a $100,000 ad in the New York Times, during the time when President Reagan was president, and basically said exactly what he just says now, that we were the laughingstock of the world. He was criticizing President Reagan.

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.

Source: Third 2016 Presidential Debate in Las Vegas , Oct 19, 2016

FactCheck: yes, Ford plant in Mexico, but no U.S. job cuts

Trump said, "Ford is leaving; their small-car division leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio." Trump's statement about Ford is partly true and partly false.

Ford is moving production of the Ford Focus and Ford C-Max from its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne to Mexico in 2018. Ford said in April it plans to invest $1.6 billion to build a new plant in Mexico and create 2,800 jobs to build small cars there. However, Ford also plans to replace the products it makes in Wayne with two new vehicles and has repeatedly said no jobs will be lost. Ford's CEO said that "zero" jobs will be lost in the US and said "it is really unfortunate when politics get in the way of the facts."

Trumps' comments also prompted tweets from both Ford and the UAW countering Trump's claims. The automaker also made a commitment in November to invest $9 billion in U.S. plants and creates or retains more than 8,500 jobs as part of a new four-year contract with the UAW.

Source: Chicago Tribune Fact-check on First 2016 Presidential Debate , Sep 27, 2016

FactCheck: NAFTA reduced U.S. jobs by 1%, not 30% or 50%

Trump said, "You go to New England, Ohio, Pennsylvania, you go anywhere you want, Secretary Clinton, and you will see devastation where manufacturing is down 30, 40, sometimes 50 percent. NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere but certainly ever signed in this country."

Bloomberg Fact check: NAFTA had a modest effect on manufacturing jobs. An Economic Policy Institute analysis says manufacturing jobs dropped in the 1990s from 17.9 million to 17.6 million.

Trump said of Hillary, "She's been doing this for 30 years. And why hasn't she made the agreements better? The NAFTA agreement is defective," [implying that Hillary and Bill Clinton held primary responsibility for NAFTA]. Chicago Tribune fact-checkers noted that while NAFTA was signed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, it was largely negotiated under the administration of George H.W. Bush.

Source: Bloomberg News Fact-check on First 2016 Presidential Debate , Sep 27, 2016

FactCheck: No, VATs are not tariffs against US exports

Trump said, "Mexico has a VAT tax. When we sell into Mexico, there's a tax, automatic, 16 percent. When they sell into us, there's no tax." Trump has never mentioned VATs before. Yesterday an economist at UC Irvine released a report analyzing Trump's economic plan and taking aim at VAT taxes. [But that's not how VATs work].

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.

Source: Mother Jones Fact-check on First 2016 Presidential Debate , Sep 27, 2016

Renegotiate NAFTA; they charge us 16%; we charge nothing

We don't know what we're doing when it comes to devaluations and all of these countries all over the world, especially China. They're the best, the best ever at it.

We have to renegotiate our trade deals. They're taking our jobs, they're giving incentives, they're doing things that, frankly, we don't do. Let me give you the example of Mexico. They have a VAT tax. We're on a different system. When we sell into Mexico, there's a tax. When they sell in--automatic, 16 percent, approximately. When they sell into us, there's no tax. It's a defective agreement. It's been defective for a long time, many years, but the politicians haven't done anything about it. But in all fairness to Secretary Clinton, when she started talking about this, it was really very recently. She's been doing this for 30 years. And why hasn't she made the agreements better? The NAFTA agreement is defective. We owe $20 trillion. We cannot do it any longer.

Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University , Sep 26, 2016

Tax imports when U.S. companies manufacture abroad

Q: How do you bring back jobs [outsourced by] American manufacturers? How do you make them bring the jobs back? A: Well, the first thing you do is don't let the jobs leave. The companies are leaving. I could name, I mean, there are thousands of them. They're leaving, and they're leaving in bigger numbers than ever. And what you do is you say, fine, you want to go to Mexico or some other country, good luck. We wish you a lot of luck. But if you think you're going to make your air conditioners or your cars or your cookies or whatever you make and bring them into our country without a tax, you're wrong. And once you say you're going to have to tax them coming in, and our politicians never do this, because they have special interests and the special interests want those companies to leave, because in many cases, they own the companies. So what I'm saying is, we can stop them from leaving. We have to stop them from leaving. And that's a big, big factor.
Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University , Sep 26, 2016

With a $58 billion trade deficit, Mexico will pay for wall

RUBIO: About the trade war -- I don't understand, because your ties and the clothes are made in Mexico and in China. You're going to start a trade war against your own ties and suits. Why don't you make them in America?

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.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary , Feb 25, 2016

Trade pacts are no good for us and no good for our workers

Carrier (US air conditioning company) is moving to Mexico. I would go to Carrier and say, "You're going to lay off 1,400 people. You're going to make air conditioners in Mexico, and you're trying to get them across our border with no tax." I'm going to tell them that we're going to tax you when those air conditioners come. So stay where you are or build in the United States because we are killing ourselves with trade pacts that are no good for us and no good for our workers.
Source: 2016 CBS Republican primary debate in South Carolina , Feb 13, 2016

Restrict free trade to keep jobs in US

Q: You would end NAFTA, kill the Pacific Trade Agreement, impose tariffs on some products like 35% on Ford cars made in Mexico.

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.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 Coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 18, 2015

Disastrous deals because we don't have smart negotiators

Q: So, you would tear up NAFTA?

A: I think NAFTA has been a disaster. I think our current deals are a disaster. I'm a free trader. The problem with free trade is, you need smart people representing you. We have the greatest negotiators in the world, but we don't use them. We use political hacks and diplomats. We use the wrong people. Mexico is smart; they have out-negotiated us to a fare-thee-well. They're going to be the capital of automobiles pretty soon, the way they're going.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 28, 2015

35% import tax on Mexican border

Ford announces a few weeks ago that Ford is going to build a $2.5 billion car and truck and parts manufacturing plant in Mexico. I would call up the head of Ford, if I was president, I'd say, "Congratulations. I understand that you're building a nice $2.5 billion car factory in Mexico and that you're going to take your cars and sell them to the US zero tax, just flow them across the border."

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.

Source: 2015 announcement speeches of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 16, 2015

Stupid people negotiate our trade bills, & trade won't work

I'm totally against the trade bill for a number of reasons. I'm a free trader. But the problem with free trade is you need really talented people to negotiate for you. If you don't have people that know business, not just a political hack that got the job because he made a contribution to a campaign, free trade is terrible.

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

Source: 2015 announcement speeches of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 16, 2015

20% tax on all imported goods

If we want jobs in America, we need to enact my 5-part tax policy: kill the death tax; lower the tax rates on capital gains & dividends; eliminate corporate taxes in order to create more American jobs; mandate a 15% tax for outsourcing jobs and a 20% tax for importing goods, and enact the 1-5-10-15 income tax plan [four brackets with a top rate of 15%].

Government needs to stop pick-pocketing your wallet. Every time it does, it slows growth and kills jobs. It's also immoral.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 65 , Dec 5, 2011

Fair trade instead of embarrassing deal with South Korea

I'm for free and fair trade. After all, I do business all over the world. But look at the deal Obama cut with South Korea. It was so bad, so embarrassing, that you can hardly believe anyone would sign such a thing. In theory, the agreement Obama signed will do next to nothing to even out the trade imbalance, will further erode American manufacturing and kill more American jobs, and will wipe away the tariffs South Korea presently pays us to sell their stuff in our country. Why would Obama agree to these terms, especially when we hold all the cards?

Why is our president signing the trade bill that the South Koreans want him to sign instead of the one that gives us maximum advantage?

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 5 , Dec 5, 2011

Embrace globalization and international markets

The important thing to consider is that more and more there is an interdependence of world economies. No one can afford to be isolationist any more. Keep your focus global. Globalization has torn down the barriers that have formerly separated the national from the international markets.
Source: Never Give Up, by Donald Trump, p.158 , Jan 18, 2008

Renegotiate tougher & fairer trade agreements

You only have to look at our trade deficit to see that we are being taken to the cleaners by our trading partners. We need tougher negotiations, not protectionist walls around America. We need to ensure that foreign markets are as open to our products as our country is to theirs. Our long-term interests require that we cut better deals with our world trading partners.
Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.145 , Jul 2, 2000

NAFTA was worst trade deal ever; TPP is a close second

Trump: NAFTA was one of the worst things that ever happened to the manufacturing industry. You go to New England, you go to Ohio, Pennsylvania, you go anywhere you want, Secretary Clinton, and you will see devastation where manufacture is down 30, 40, sometimes 50 percent. NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country. And now [Clinton wants] to approve Trans-Pacific Partnership. You were totally in favor of it. Then you heard what I was saying, how bad it is, and you said, "I can't win that debate." But you know that if you did win, you would approve that, and that will be almost as bad as NAFTA. Nothing will ever top NAFTA.

Clinton: Well, that is just not accurate. I was against it once it was finally negotiated and the terms were laid out.

Source: First 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University , Sep 26, 2016

President should be nation’s trade representative

Denouncing United States trade policy, Trump promised to appoint himself as the nation’s trade representative, saying he would have no trouble serving both in that post and as president. He then attacked the current holder of the job, Charlene Barshefky. “Who is she?” demanded Trump. “I never heard of her!”
Source: nytimes.com/library/politics , Dec 10, 1999

World views US trade officials as ‘saps’

Trump said that US trade officials are viewed as “saps” around the world and have allowed the country to be ripped off in trade agreements. He called NAFTA a disaster and said leaders of other countries “can’t believe how easy it is to deal with the US.” He continued, “We are known as a bunch of saps. We need our best people to negotiate against the Japanese and many other countries.” As president, he would get the nation’s top business leaders - not diplomats - to negotiate for the country.
Source: Pat Eaton-Robb, Associated Press , Dec 2, 1999


Donald Trump on Pacific Trade

China is dumping steel all over & killing steel companies

Q: How will your energy policy meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss?

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.

Source: Second 2016 Presidential Debate at WUSTL in St. Louis MO , Oct 9, 2016

I take advantage of devalued Chinese currency; but stop them

Q [To Gov. Kasich]: Critics say these trade deals have cost the US 1 million jobs.

KASICH: Trade has to be balanced & we have to make sure that when we see a violation, like some country dumping their products into this country, I will shut down those imports.

Q [to Trump]: Your campaign platform is inconsistent with how you run your businesses: your companies manufacture clothing in China and Mexico.

TRUMP: Because of the monetary devaluations that other countries are constantly doing and brilliantly doing against us, it's very, very hard for our companies in this country, in our country, to compete. So I will take advantage of it; they're the laws. But I'm the one that knows how to change it. Nobody else on this dais knows how to change it like I do, believe me.

KASICH: They can't manipulate their currency. That will not be anything that I would allow them to get away with. And if I saw them doing it, I would take immediate action and make sure that the American worker is protected.

Source: 2016 GOP primary debate in Miami , Mar 10, 2016

It's not free trade with China; it's stupid trade

Sen. Ted CRUZ: Donald is right about international trade. He's right about the problems. But his solutions don't work: he proposed a 45% tariff on foreign goods. The effect of a 45% tariff would be when you go to Walmart, the prices you pay go up 45%. A tariff is a tax on you, the American people.

TRUMP: The 45% tariff is a threat. It was 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 and our trade and our deals and most importantly our jobs are going to hell.?

Source: 2016 GOP primary debate in Miami , Mar 10, 2016

It's not free trade with China; it's stupid trade

Sen. Ted CRUZ: Donald is right about international trade. He's right about the problems. But his solutions don't work: he proposed a 45% tariff on foreign goods. The effect of a 45% tariff would be when you go to Walmart, the prices you pay go up 45%. A tariff is a tax on you, the American people.

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.??

Source: 2016 GOP primary debate in Miami , Mar 10, 2016

I've been moving clothing-making from China to U.S.

Sen. Marco RUBIO: Trump can start tonight by announcing that all the Donald Trump clothing will no longer be made in China and in Mexico, but will be made here in the United States.

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.

Source: 2016 Fox News GOP debate in Detroit Michigan , Mar 3, 2016

TPP is a horrible deal; no one has read its 5,600 pages

Q: You've criticized the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 Asian countries?

TRUMP: The TPP is horrible deal. It is a deal that is going to lead to nothing but trouble. It's a deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone. It's 5,600 pages long, so complex that nobody's read it. This is one of the worst trade deals. And I would, yes, rather not have it. We're losing now over $500 billion in terms of imbalance with China, $75 billion a year imbalance with Japan.

Q: Which are there particular parts of the deal that you think were badly negotiated?

TRUMP: Well, the currency manipulation they don't discuss in the agreement, which is a disaster. If you look at the way China in particular takes advantage of the US--it's through currency manipulation. It's not even discussed in the almost 6,000-page agreement.

Sen. Rand PAUL: Hey, you know, we might want to point out China is not part of this deal.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Chinese are savvy businesspeople: our enemy who need us

There are people who wish I wouldn't refer to China as our enemy. But that's exactly what they are. They have destroyed entire industries by utilizing low-wage workers, cost us tens of thousands of jobs, spied on our businesses, stolen our technology, and have manipulated and devalued their currency, which makes importing our goods more expensive--and sometimes, impossible.

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.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 43-5 , Nov 3, 2015

We don't beat China or Japan or Mexico in trade

Our country is in serious trouble. We don't win anymore. We don't beat China in trade. We don't beat Japan, with their millions and millions of cars coming into this country, in trade. We can't beat Mexico, at the border or in trade.

We can't do anything right. Our military has to be strengthened. Our vets have to be taken care of. We have to end ObamaCare, and we have to make our country great again, and I will do that.

Source: Fox News/Facebook Top Ten First Tier debate transcript , Aug 6, 2015

China and Japan are beating us; I can beat China

Our country is in serious trouble. We don't have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don't have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let's say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time. All the time.

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.

Source: 2015 announcement speeches of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 16, 2015

Repatriate jobs that China has been stealing

I'm sick of always reading about outsourcing. Why aren't we talking about "onshoring"? We need to bring manufacturing jobs back home where they belong. Onshoring, or "repatriation," is a way for us to take back the jobs China is stealing. We know that China's wages are increasing. Also, China lacks certain natural resources that we have in abundance. If we exploit those two key facts, we can begin making the case to companies that they should bring their manufacturing facilities home to America.

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.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 37-39 , Dec 5, 2011

Other candidates on Free Trade: Donald Trump on other issues:
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Dr.Jill Stein(G-MA)
Ajamu Baraka(G-VP)
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