Hillary Should Toughen Up On Trade In Case She's Nominee Against Trump

Source:   —  April 22, 2016, at 9:52 PM

But here is a warning: If Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee she'd better obtain tough on trade - and imply it. One of Donald Trump' main elements of appeal to his voters - if not the main appeal - is his stance on trade and bringing jobs back to America.

Yes, much of Donald Trump'south message has a white nationalist and anti-woman character to it. But here is a warning: If Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee she'd better obtain tough on trade - and imply it.

One of Donald Trump' main elements of appeal to his voters - if not the main appeal - is his stance on trade and bringing jobs back to America. It'south a winning message and Clinton is waaaayyyy behind the curve on this.

Much Of Trump Appeal Based On Trade

Much of Trump'south campaign message is about how our country'south trade deals have wiped out jobs. On Day one much of his speech announcing that he was running was about trade. From the transcript, here is some of the trade talk:

"That'south right - a lot of people up there can't obtain jobs. They can't obtain jobs because there are number jobs because China has our jobs and Mexico has our jobs. They all have our jobs.

[.] I'm going to tell you a couple of stories about trade, because I'm totally against the trade bill for a no of reasons.

... Free trade can be wonderful if you've bright people. But we've people that are stupid. We've people that aren't smart, and we've people that are controlled by special interests and it'south just not going to work.

So here'south a couple of stories. Happened recently, a companion of mine is a grand manufacturer, and you know, China comes over and they dump all their stuff.

... And it'south impossible for our people here to compete. So I wish to tell you this story. Companion of mine if a grand manufacturer. Calls me up a few weeks ago, he'south very upset.

I said, 'What'south your problem?'

He said, 'You know, I create a great product.'

I said, 'I know, I know that, because I purchase the product.'

He said, 'I can't obtain it into China. They won't accept it. I sent a boat over and they actually sent it back. They talked about environmental, they talked about all sorts of crap that'd nothing to do with it.'

I said, 'Oh, wait a minute, that'south terrible. Did anyone know this?'

He said, 'They do it all the time with other people.'

I said, 'They send it back?'

He said, 'Yea, so I finally got it over there, and they charged me a big tariff.'

They're not supposed to be doing that. I told him. Presently they do charge you tariffs on trucks when we send trucks and other things over there.

Ask Boeing. They wanted all their patents and secrets before they agreed to purchase planes from Boeing.

Hey, I'm not saying they're stupid. I love China. I just sold an apt for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to displeasure them?

There'south much more if you hold reading. From that moment on in his campaign, he's continued to speak and speak and speak about trade.

Trade and jobs are at the middle of Trump'south appeal. He rightly says China is killing us on trade and taking jobs, and people listen. He wrongly says that immigrants are taking people'south jobs, but people believe it and people listen. But it'south all jobs, jobs, jobs, and it's a powerful message.

Well-To-Do Donor Class Likes Trade As It Is

America'south well-to-do elites think everything is going fine. Their stock portfolios are way up, so they're feeling good. They're writing op-eds about how well things are going and how our corporate paradigm is doing so well for us and the world. The elite "donor class" is giving enormous sums to "continuity" politicians. This is elites talking to other elites and not at all hearing what's going on in the country.

Donald Trump isn't dependent on this donor class and he's saying that things aren't fine, that wages aren't going up, that jobs are tough to find, that trade is killing us. So people for whom things aren't going fine, for whom jobs are tough to find, for whom wages aren't going up and who trade is killing are listening. And that's most people in the U. S.

A Must-Read On Trump And Trade

There is a must-read on Trump and trade at Bloomberg: Trump Wave Builds in a Steel Town Forsaken by the World Economy

The town of Johnstown was devastated by floods not once, not twice, but three times in less than a century. Then came the economic wave that washed far the steel industry, and with it a way of life.

Presently a backlash is building in the maple-studded hills of southwestern Pennsylvania. Captured in interviews and confirmed in statewide polls, the sentiment is propelling Donald Trump toward the Republican nomination, and possibly even the presidency of the world'south biggest economy.

It'south the feeling people obtain when they're afraid of being left behind.

"This town is beyond distressed. We've been destroyed. It'south sad, because this was a excellent space to grow up. You didn't have to lock your door," said Robert Vargo, sixty-three, as he talked politics with a companion in a McDonald's. The retired Johnstown native, who worked as a security guard despite having an engineering degree, plans to vote for Trump. "People are ill of being ignored. That'south why Trump is popular. He'south actually saying the things people are afraid to express."

Why Trump? Simple: trade.

Trump'south proposed remedy has already helped him win in places that resemble Johnstown: in the Rust Belt that used to create up the country'south manufacturing heartland, and down through the Appalachians, wealthy in coal but racked by poverty. The billionaire argues that decades of "disastrous" trade deals and immigration policies have destroyed the American center class. He'south promised to slap tariffs on Chinese goods, deport illegal immigrants and force Mexico to pay for a border wall.

Just go read it...

Clinton Not Tough On Trade

Hillary Clinton isn't seen as someone who'll fight against our country'south corporate-driven trade policies. In the most recent NY primary exit polls, for example, voters who self-describe as pro-trade voted for Clinton over Sanders sixty-one % to thirty-nine percent. In MI voters who perceive trade takes far jobs voted for Sanders fifty-six % to forty-one percent.

Clinton has been hedging. For example, on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) she said, just before the first Democratic primary debate, "based on what I know so far, I can't support this agreement." But she also said, "I still believe in the goal of a powerful and objective trade agreement in the Pacific as portion of a broader strategy both at residence and abroad, just as I did when I was secretary of state."

Clinton has said she'll not lobby her supporters to vote against TPP and other such corporate-dominated agreements. She's not said that TPP and other corporate-dominated trade supporters won't be invited into her administration. She certainly won't demand that Obama withdraw TPP from consideration by Congress.

The result? Clinton has a credibility problem on trade. Nearly number one believes her. (Look "Chamber of Commerce Lobbyist Tom Donohue: Clinton Will Support TPP After Election.")

"Pro-trade" voters vote for her. "Pro-trade" donors continue to give the max to her campaign. In fact, this hedging has left the donor and corporate class believing she's on their side, that she supports the "free trade" agenda that's killed off so many jobs, factories, all industries, all regions and left us with enormous, humongous trade deficits year after year after year - while making a very few at the top wealthy beyond belief.

Clinton is hedging, leaving herself room to appeal to the donor and corporate class. But if Clinton "moves to the center" on trade after the convention, as business and donor community believes she will, she risks losing those voters who perceive that these trade agreements have ruined their lives, their towns, their regions and their country.

Will they believe she's against these trade deals? Or will they turn to Trump?


A few past warnings:

"Trump Taps Into Economic Anxiety Resulting From 'Free Trade'":

Trump is tapping into an economic anxiety felt by many, many Americans. Our trade policies are at the root of this anxiety, and Trump knows it and says it, and people nod their heads.

... If you go to the "flyover states" and even vast parts of the coastal states you look towns, cities and all regions where shops, gas stations, even all shopping centers are closed and boarded up. You look vacant houses with the porches collapsing and roofs caving in, and somewhere you'll discover the "elderly factory" - a fenced-off vacant building with broken windows and weeds growing in the cracks in the parking lot...

People Believe This Is From Trade Policies

What happened? Factories closed and jobs dried up and our government didn't do a thing about it. This left people competing for what'south left of the jobs.

"'Free Trade': The Elites Are Selling It But The Public Is Longer Buying"

"Donald Trump Was Exact About TPP And China"

"Why Trump Gets Traction From Trade":

Donald Trump is getting traction. He's talking about trade, jobs, China, manufacturing, China, jobs, China and China -- and it's resonating with a public ill of being told neglect what they can look in front of their faces. "Nobody, other than OPEC, is ripping off the United States love China," he says. And he climbs in the polls.

"Trade Shapes WI Primary"


This post originally appeared at Campaign for America'south Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I'm a Fellow with CAF. Sign up here for the CAF daily summary and/or for the Progress Breakfast.

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