Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan has repeatedly touted his support for former President Donald Trump’s economic policies during his campaign for Ohio’s November Senate race, but the congressman inveighed at length against Trump’s 2018 trade war with China.
Ryan was one of 193 House Democrats to vote in favor of the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement in 2019, which rewrote the North American Free Trade Agreement. He described the vote as “patriotism” in an ad released Wednesday, while encouraging elected officials to “have the guts to take on China, bring back manufacturing, and cut taxes for workers.”
During Trump’s 2018 trade war, however, Ryan claimed in a tweet the former president’s policies were “wrongheaded” and “disastrous.”
“Trump is turning his back on American farmers,” he tweeted. (RELATED: Tim Ryan, Former Democratic Candidate For President, Focuses On One Big Issue Trump Always Talked About In New Campaign Ad)
Trump is turning his back on American farmers.
We don’t need a tariff war with China. We need a strategic plan that holds China accountable while cutting in American workers and businesses on the deal. https://t.co/tLlbVH86Zd
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) May 14, 2019
The Trump administration reached a trade agreement with China in January 2020. The deal required China to ramp up purchases of American agricultural and manufactured goods, as well as provide more robust intellectual property protections.
“The President is billing his China deal as a win for everyday Americans… That’s only true if you count Wall Street, Big Pharma, & Big Oil as ‘everyday Americans,’ Ryan tweeted at the time.
The President is billing his China deal as a win for everyday Americans… That’s only true if you count Wall Street, Big Pharma, & Big Oil as “everyday Americans.” pic.twitter.com/OqIsWPrd21
— Congressman Tim Ryan (@RepTimRyan) January 16, 2020
The Ryan campaign did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment on the matter.
Ryan and Republican Ohio Senate candidate JD Vance have repeatedly accused each other of lying about their positions and political records. Ryan accused Vance of misrepresenting his non-profit’s work on the opioid crisis, an issue that has been a centerpiece of Vance’s campaign. As Ryan has kept President Joe Biden at arm’s length, the Vance campaign has highlighted the congressman’s 100% support for Biden’s agenda in Congress.
“Tim Ryan spent the entire Trump administration attacking and denigrating the America First trade agenda, but now that he’s running for Senate he expects Ohioans to forget his track record. Tim is once again talking out of both sides of his mouth, as he has done for his entire 20-year career in Washington,” a spokesman for the Vance campaign said in a statement to the Daily Caller.
Economists generally agree that Trump’s tariffs on China did not benefit the U.S. manufacturing and agricultural sectors or consumers, most notably because China did not fully comply with its agreements to buy $200 billion worth of additional goods in the aftermath of the 2020 deal. The tariffs have also contributed to inflation.