Claiming that China is responsible for nearly half of the US’ entire trade deficit, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday vowed to adopt a tough posture against Beijing if voted to power and alleged that the country was breaking rules in every way imaginable.
"At the centre of my plan is trade enforcement with China.
This alone could return millions of jobs into our economy," Trump said in his major economic policy speech which among others included strong protections against currency manipulation, tariffs against any countries that cheat by unfairly subsidising their goods and a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
"If we don’t get a better deal, we will walk away," the 70-year-old real estate tycoon said.
He claimed that China was responsible for nearly half of US’ entire trade deficit. Trump alleged that China breaks the rules in every way imaginable.
"China engages in illegal export subsidies, prohibited currency manipulation, and rampant theft of intellectual property. They also have no real environmental or labour protections, further undercutting American workers," Trump said.
"Just enforcing intellectual property rules alone could save millions and millions of American jobs. According to the US International Trade Commission, improved protection of America’s intellectual property in China would produce more than 2 million more jobs right here in the United States," said the billionaire from New York.
Trump said that along with that the saved jobs from cracking down on currency cheating and product dumping, will bring trillions of dollars in new wealth and wages back to the United States.
The Republican presidential nominee also lashed out at South Korea, which he claimed perfectly illustrates the broken promises that have hurt so many American workers.
"President (Barack) Obama, and the usual so-called experts who’ve been wrong about every trade deal for decades, predicted that the trade deal with South Korea would increase our exports to South Korea by more than USD 10 billion – resulting in some 70,000 jobs," he said.
"Like Hillary Clinton’s broken promises to New York, these pledges all turned out to be false. Instead of creating 70,000 jobs, it has killed nearly 100,000, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Our exports to South Korea haven’t increased at all, but their imports to us have surged more than USD 15 billion — more than doubling our trade deficit with that country," he said.
A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – and it is also a vote for NAFTA, he argued.
"Our annual trade deficit in goods with Mexico has risen from close to zero in 1993 to almost USD 60 billion. Our total trade deficit in goods hit nearly USD 800 billion last year," he said.
"This is a strike at the heart of Michigan, and our nation as a whole. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, before NAFTA went into effect, there were 285,000 auto workers in Michigan. Today, that number is only 160,000," Trump said.
Trump alleged Clinton’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be an even bigger disaster for the auto industry.
"In fact, Ford Motor Company has announced its opposition to the deal," he said.
In his speech, Trump said trade has big benefits and he is in favour of trade.
"But I want great trade deals for our country that create more jobs and higher wages for American workers. Isolation is not an option, only great and well-crafted trade deals are," he said.
"I have announced we will withdraw from the deal (TPP) before that can ever happen. Hillary Clinton will never withdraw from the TPP. She is bought, controlled and paid-for by her donors and special interests," Trump said.