Trade received top billing in Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s acceptance speech Thursday night at the party’s national convention in Cleveland.
Trump has shaken up the GOP, which has traditionally been the party backing free trade and international trade deals. Instead, he has argued for renegotiating terms of key deals and widely supported tougher trade terms with China, footwear’s top sourcing market.
“I have a different vision for our workers,” said Trump. “It begins with a new, fair trade policy that protects our jobs and stands up to countries that cheat.”
In particular, Trump said he would do away with multination trade deals, a pretty solid death knell for the Trans-Pacific Partnership under his administration.
“No longer will we enter into these massive deals, with many countries, that are thousands of pages long – and which no one from our country even reads or understands,” said Trump. “We are going to enforce all trade violations, including through the use of taxes and tariffs, against any country that cheats.”
During the speech, Trump also made certain to link Bill Clinton-era trade policies back to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. He pointed to NAFTA as the chief example, and said he would also renegotiate that deal.
“My opponent … has supported virtually every trade agreement that has been destroying our middle class. She supported NAFTA, and she supported China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization – another one of her husband’s colossal mistakes.”
Among other key trade issues, Trump said he would renegotiate deals with China, in particular the one that allowed the country to enter the WTO.
“I am going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and to America — and I am not going to let companies move to other countries, firing their employees along the way, without consequences,” said Trump.