FIRST ON FOX: Former President Trump and his 2024 presidential campaign on Monday rolled out his “America First” trade policy that would “tax China to build up America” and focus on rewarding domestic production while imposing tariffs on imported goods.
The former president’s trade policy would “completely eliminate” the United States’ dependence on China by eliminating China’s most favored nation trade status, adopt a four-year plan to phase out all Chinese imports of essential goods, and ban federal contracts for any company that outsources to China.
“Joe Biden claims to support American manufacturing, but in reality, he is pushing the same pro-China globalist agenda that ripped the industrial heart out of our country,” Trump said in a policy video, titled “Pro-American Trade to End our Reliance on China.”
“Very simply, the Biden agenda taxes America to build up China,” Trump said. “My agenda will tax China to build up America.”
Trump said if re-elected, he will move the country to a new system that “rewards domestic production and taxes foreign companies and those who export American jobs.”
Trump said to achieve his goal, he would phase in a system of universal, baseline tariffs on most foreign products. Trump said higher tariffs will “increase incrementally depending on how much individual foreign countries devalue their currency.”
Trump also said countries devalue their currency and “subsidize their industries, or otherwise engage in trade cheating and abuse, and they do it now like never before.”
“We had largely stopped and it was going to be stopped completely within less than a year,” Trump said, reflecting on his administration.
“As tariffs on foreign producers go up, taxes on American producers will go down, and go down very substantially, that means a lot of jobs coming in,” Trump said.
The former president said that his proposed system would “end our gaping trade deficits” and bring back “millions” of American jobs. He said it would also bring “trillions and trillions of dollars” to the U. S. Treasury Department from foreign countries, which could then be invested in “American workers, American families and American communities.”
“This plan will be the linchpin of a new Strategic National Manufacturing Initiative, that builds on my historic success in ending NAFTA,” Trump said, calling the ending of the North American Free Trade Agreement a “tremendous achievement.”
Trump replaced NAFTA with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which covered more than $1.3 trillion of commerce. The USMCA requires 75% of automobile components be manufactured in the United States, Canada or Mexico in order to avoid tariffs. The deal required that by 2023, some 40 to 45% of automobile parts must be made by workers who earn at least $16 an hour.
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The agreement was expected to create 80,000 new jobs tied to the auto industry and bring in up to $30 billion of new investment in the sector. The pact will also open new markets for American wheat, poultry and eggs, among other things.
Trump also withdrew the United States from the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which was advocated by the Obama administration and aimed to deepen economic ties between the U. S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations.
“We’re also going to end other unfair trade deals, and we’ll end them quickly,” Trump said.
Trump said that as a matter of “both economic and national security,” his plan would also “implement a bold series of reforms to completely eliminate dependence on China in all critical areas.”
He said his plan to phase out all imports of essential goods from China over four years would cover a range of goods and mechanisms to enforce the tough new rules.
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