WILL SHE PICK IT UP?
Presumed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has been clear and resolute on the issue of trade from the very beginning of his insurgent, populist candidacy.
In fact, as our friend Richard Manning of Americans for Limited Government recently noted in a column for The Hill, Trump’s early, aggressive position on trade is one of the reasons he vaulted to the top of the “Republican” heap.
It was also of the reasons he was able to beat back the crony capitalist “Republican” establishment favorites – most of whom supported U.S. president Barack Obama‘s proposed “rigged trade” agreement with Pacific Rim nations (a.k.a. “Obamatrade”).
Ironically, it’s also one of the reasons independent socialist U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont was able to maintain such a successful insurgency against bought-and-paid-for Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Trade is one of those rare issues which unites the rank-and-file of both parties (and independents) against the “insider elites” who have been running this country into the ground.
Trump knows it, too … which is why he’s been hammering the message as his general election campaign against Clinton takes shape.
In his big economic speech this week, Trump directly challenged Clinton on trade.
Specifically, he announced his intention to withdraw America from various crony capitalist trade agreements and instead negotiate “bilateral trade deals that protect U.S. economic interests.”
He then challenged Clinton to agree to join him in opposing Obamatrade – which even biased government bean counters acknowledge will be a wash under the very best of scenarios.
According to a recently-released report from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), Obamatrade would yield a modest 0.23 percent increase in income, 0.15 percent gross domestic product (GDP) expansion and 0.07 percent growth in employment.
And that’s only if some outlandish assumptions hold sway … like no net job losses due to subsidized outsourcing and an end to the foreign currency manipulation that unfairly disadvantages American goods.
According to Trump, Clinton “took a leading part in drafting the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” or TPP – which is the formal name for Obama’s Pacific Rim trade deal.
“She praised or pushed the TPP on 45 separate occasions, and even called it the gold standard,” Trump said. “Hillary Clinton was totally for the TPP just a short while ago.”
Indeed she was … until Sanders started taking huge chunks out of her ass on the issue.
Now Clinton claims she has problems with TPP “in its current form,” which Trump correctly called out as “politician-speak for saying she will approve it at the very earliest opportunity.”
Complicating matters for Clinton? The party platform she is supposed to run on refused to take a position on the issue – enraging Sanders’ supporters.
“Have no doubt that she will immediately approve it, if it is put before her,” Trump said. “She will do this, just as she has betrayed American workers for Wall Street throughout her career. Her whole career she has betrayed the American worker. She is trying to put on a good front now – she will betray you again.”