In a speech on trade, Donald Trump railed against U.S. trade agreements and globalization, proclaiming that it's "time to declare our economic independence again."
Globalization, he said, "has wiped out totally, totally our middle class." He said the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed by Bill Clinton was a "disaster" and said the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) "would be the death blow for American manufacturing."
He went on to talk about steps he would take that would return jobs to Americans. Among his ideas were withdrawing from TPP and from NAFTA. While he declared TPP unfixable, he said he would renegotiate NAFTA "to get a better deal -- by a lot, not just a little."
Trump would also label China a currency manipulator, which, he said, "should have been done years ago." Any country devaluing its currency would be met, Trump said, with "tariffs and taxes."
Hillary Clinton, Trump predicted would "try to spread the lie that these actions will start a trade war. You already have a trade war, and we're losing badly. Badly." And he went on to accuse her of unleashing a trade war on American workers with NAFTA and deals with South Korea and China.
Trump promised "the era of economic surrender will finally be over," although he said he couldn't guarantee it would last -- because whoever succeeds him will probably return to former trade practices. Still, Trump said, we'd have "4 to 8 great years."
The presumptive GOP nominee, who was speaking at an aluminum company just outside the Steel City of Pittsburgh, also promised that the U.S. would stop using foreign steel.
"A Trump administration will also ensure that we start using American steel for American infrastructure," to "fortify America's crumbling bridges," rebuild inner cities and send "our skyscrapers soaring into the sky."
China is one of the worst offenders in dumping steel, as it's seen domestic demand drop off. Last month the Commerce Department slapped a 500 percent tariff on certain kinds of Chinese steel.
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