Donald Trump Gets To Specifics During Trade Speech

Donald Trump AFP/Getty Images/Oli Scarff

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Donald Trump slammed the Clintons on trade and laid out his proposals to bring manufacturing back to the United States during a speech Tuesday.

“We are thirty miles from Steel City. Pittsburgh played a central role in building our nation. The legacy of Pennsylvania steelworkers lives in the bridges, railways and skyscrapers that make up our great American landscape,” Trump said. “But our workers’ loyalty was repaid with betrayal.”

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee blamed policies from the Bill Clinton administration and Hillary Clinton’s era as secretary of state for the loss of American manufacturing jobs.

“America has lost nearly one-third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997 – even as the country has increased its population by 50 million people. At the center of this catastrophe are two trade deals pushed by Bill and Hillary Clinton,” Trump said. “First, the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Second, China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.”

“Then, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton stood by idly while China cheated on its currency, added another trillion dollars to our trade deficits, and stole hundreds of billions of dollars in our intellectual property. The city of Pittsburgh, and the State of Pennsylvania, have lost one-third of their manufacturing jobs since the Clintons put China into the WTO.”

The Daily Caller has previously reported that the Trump campaign is highly focused on winning the state of Pennsylvania. Trump then went onto to say that regardless of Hillary Clinton’s current opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“Here’s how it would go: she would make a small token change, declare the pact fixed, and ram it through. That’s why Hillary is now only saying she has problems with the TPP ‘in its current form’– ensuring that she can rush to embrace it again at her earliest opportunity,” Trump said.

“If the media doesn’t believe me, I have a challenge for you. Ask Hillary Clinton if she is willing to withdraw from the TPP her first day in office and unconditionally rule out its passage in any form,” the New York real estate developer added. (RELATED: Poll Finds Widespread Opposition To Free Trade)

Trump then went on to give specifics about how he would reverse what he views as disastrous trade policy. He stated that he would take the U.S out of the TPP deal that has not yet been ratified and hire the “toughest and smartest trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers.”

Trump also said he’s “going to direct the Secretary of Commerce to identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers. I will then direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.” Trump said that he plans to tell partners in NAFTA, Canada and Mexico, that he intends to renegotiate.”

“If they do not agree to a renegotiation, then I will submit notice under Article 2205 of the NAFTA agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal,” Trump said.

He said that he will label China a currency manipulator and that “any country that devalues their currency in order to take unfair advantage of the United States will be met with sharply, and that includes tariffs and taxes.”

Trump continued to say, “I am going to instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO. China’s unfair subsidy behavior is prohibited by the terms of its entrance to the WTO, and I intend to enforce those rules.”

“If China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets, I will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962,” the presumptive GOP presidential nominee added.

Trump cited Ronald Reagan and the Founding Fathers to defend his proposals. “President Reagan deployed similar trade measures when motorcycle and semiconductor imports threatened U.S. industry. His tariff on Japanese motorcycles was 45% and his tariff to shield America’s semiconductor industry was [100 percent].”

“Alexander Hamilton spoke frequently of the ‘expediency of encouraging manufactur[ing] in the United States.’ The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, warned that: ‘The abandonment of the protective policy by the American government… must produce want and ruin among our people,'” Trump said.

“Our original Constitution did not even have an income tax. Instead, it had tariffs — emphasizing taxation of foreign, not domestic, production.”

Trump framed his argument in a similar fashion to how Boris Johnson rallied voters to vote for Brexit in the United Kingdom “That’s the choice we face. We can either give in to Hillary Clinton’s campaign of fear, or we can choose to Believe In America,” Trump said.

Johnson, before the Brexit vote, said, “At the end of this campaign I think you’ll agree there’s a very clear choice between those on their side who speak of nothing but fear, of the consequences of leaving the E.U, we on our side who offer hope.”