Donald Trump won the Republican nomination with vague promises, vague policy proposals, and a loose vision of a future that would break away from the established orthodoxy of both the Democratic and Republican parties. One of the most exciting parts of his post-clinch campaign has been his ability to finally codify these vague comments into in-depth policies that pair concrete plans with the explosive rhetoric.
On Tuesday, Trump delivered a speech on international trade that turned his oft-repeated slogans into a specific blueprint for the American economy. He outlined a 7-point plan to energize the domestic job market that included a significant renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a new outlook on China and their currency manipulation, and the wholesale scrapping of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy, we are going to put America first again,” Trump said in Pennsylvania. “We are going to make America wealthy again.”
Establishment Republicans have balked at many of Trump’s policy suggestions, but they are especially wary of his outlook on trade. For decades, the GOP has been a champion of globalism and an enemy of tariffs and other forms of protectionism.
Much like the Democrats…
Speaking of the Democrats, Hillary Clinton responded to Trump’s speech with this cute little tweet, accompanied by a photo of a shirt from the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection: “Trump’s speaking about outsourcing right now,” she said. “Here’s one of his shirts – made in Bangladesh.”
Supposedly, this means Trump is a hypocrite. That’s ridiculous, but the more pertinent takeaway might be found in the question – Where is the Hillary R. Clinton Signature Collection? Oh, right, it doesn’t exist, because this woman has not made one entrepreneurial dime in her life. She has, however, made millions by catering to the very same people who have benefited from free trade agreements at the expense of the American worker.
“People who rigged the system are supporting Hillary Clinton because they know as long as she is in charge, nothing’s going to change,” Trump said.
Business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Democrats, and Republicans characterize Trump’s position as “protectionism,” as though he wants to withdraw America from the world economy. They do this because it’s easier than justifying their own position, which is that we should stay on the same course – the one that has gutted the middle class. Instead of making our country stronger, we’ve leveled the global playing field by giving away billions. Sure, that’s been wonderful for a handful of rich Americans…but maybe it’s time to do something good for the rest of the country.