On Tuesday, June 28, Donald J. Trump delivered an economic policy speech at Alumisource Factory in Monessen, Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump slammed politicians for promoting globalization at the expense of American workers and vowed to rebuild the U.S. economy by fighting for fair trade.
Here are his full remarks [transcript]:
Thank you, everybody. Thank you so much. I greatly appreciate it.
And I’d like to thank the owner of the plant, Gabe and Gloria. You’re here someplace. Thank you.
I want to thank Rick Santorum, our senator, great senator for being here and for the endorsement. We really appreciate it. And I have to say, all of the amazing workers. Gabe said they are the most important. The amazing workers. And I know you have been through some very, very tough times, but we’re going to make it better and we’re going to make it better fast, OK? Just watch.
So today I’m going to talk about how to make America wealthy again. We have to do it. With 30-miles from Steel City, Pittsburgh played a central role in building our nation. The legacy of Pennsylvania steelworkers lives in the bridges, railways and skyscrapers that make up our a great American landscape.
But our workers’ loyalty was repaid, you know it better than anybody, with total betrayal. Our politicians have aggressively pursued a policy of globalization, moving our jobs, our wealth and our factories to Mexico and overseas. Globalization has made the financial elite, who donate to politicians, very, very wealthy. I used to be one of them.
I hate to say it , but I used to be one. But it has left millions of our workers with nothing but poverty and heartache. When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians have proven, folks, have proven they do nothing.
For years, they watched on the sidelines as our jobs vanished and our communities were plunged into Depression-level unemployment. Many of these areas have never recovered and never will unless I become president.
Then, they’re going to recover fast. Our politicians took away from the people their means of making a living and supporting their families. Skilled craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers have seen the jobs they love shipped thousands and thousands of miles away.
Many Pennsylvania towns, once thriving and humming, are now in a state of total disrepair. This wave of globalization has wiped out totally, totally, our middle class. It does not have to be this way. We can turn it around and we can turn it around fast.
But if we are going to deliver real change, we’re going to have to reject the campaign of fear and intimidation being pursued by powerful corporations, media leaks and political dynasties. The people who rigged the system for their benefit will do anything and say anything to keep things exactly the way they are.
The people who rigged the system are supporting Hillary Clinton because they know as long as she is in charge, nothing is going to change. The inner cities will remain poor. The factories will remain closed. The borders will remain open. The special interests will remain firmly in control. Hillary Clinton and her friends in global finance want to scare America into thinking small.
And they want to scare the American people out of voting for the better future. And you have a great future, folks. You gave a great future. These people have given her tens of millions of dollars. My campaign has the absolute opposite message. I want you to imagine a much better life and a life where you can believe in the American dream again. Right now, you can’t do that.
I want you to imagine how much better our future can be if we declare independence from the elites who led us from one financial and foreign policy disaster to another. Our friends in Britain recently voted to take back control of their economy, politics and borders.
I was on the right side of that issue, as you know, with the people. I was there. I said it was going to happen, I felt it. While Hillary, as always, stood with the elites and both she and President Obama predicted that one, and many others, totally wrong.
Now, it’s time for the American people to take back their future. Going to take it back.
That’s the choice that we face. We can either give into Hillary Clinton’s campaign of fear or we can choose to believe again in America.
Very sadly, we lost our way when we stopped believing in our country. America became the world’s dominant economy by becoming the world’s dominant producer. You know that from right here, right in this plant.
The wealth this created was shared broadly, creating the biggest middle-class the world has ever known. But then, America changed its policy from promoting development in America — in, in, in America — to promoting development in other nations. That’s what’s happening and that’s what’s happened.
We allowed foreign countries to subsidize their goods, devalue their currencies, violate their agreements and cheat in every way imaginable, and our politicians did nothing about it. Trillions of our dollars and millions of our jobs flowed overseas as a result. I have visited cities and towns across this country where one-third or even half of manufacturing jobs have been wiped out in the last 20 years. Today, we import nearly $800 billion more in goods than we export. We can’t continue to do that. This is not some natural disaster, it’s a political and politician-made disaster. Very simple. And it can be corrected and we can correct it fast when we have people with the right thinking. Right up here. It is the consequence… It is the consequence of a leadership class that worships globalism over Americanism. This is a direct affront to our founding fathers, who — America wanted to be strong. They wanted this country to be strong. They wanted to be independent and they wanted it to be free.
Our founding fathers understood trade much better than our current politicians, believe me.
George Washington said that the promotion of domestic manufacturing will be among the first consequences to flow from an energetic government. Alexander Hamilton spoke frequently of the expediency of encouraging manufacturing in, in, in the United States.
And listen to this. The first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, warned that, quote, “the abandonment of the protective policy by the American government will produce want and ruin among our people.” He understood it much better than our current politicians, that’s why he was Abraham Lincoln, I guess.
Our original Constitution did not even have an income tax. Instead, it had tariffs emphasizing taxation of foreign, not domestic, production.
Yet today, 240 years after the Revolution, we’ve turned things completely upside down. We tax and regulate and restrict our companies to death and then we allow foreign countries that cheat to export their goods to us tax-free. How stupid is this? How could it happen? How stupid is this?
As a result, we have become more dependent on foreign countries than ever before. Ladies and gentlemen, it is time to declare our economic independence once again. That means…
That means voting for Donald Trump.
I’ll do it. No doubt about it. Not even a little doubt. It also means reversing two of the worst legacies of the Clinton years. America has lost nearly 1/3 of its manufacturing jobs since 1997. Even as the country has increased its population, think of this, by 50 million people. At the center of this catastrophe are two trade deals pushed by Bill and Hillary Clinton.
First, the North American Free Trade Agreement, or the disaster called NAFTA. Second, China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. NAFTA was the worst trade deal in the history – it’s like – the history of this country. And China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization has enabled the greatest job theft in the history of our country.
It was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA. People don’t remember. In 1993. And Hillary Clinton who supported it. And the havoc that it wreaked after he left office was unbelievable. It was also Bill Clinton who lobbied for China’s disastrous entry into the World Trade Organization, and Hillary Clinton who backed that terrible, terrible agreement.
Then as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton stood by idly while China cheated on its currency, added another trillion dollars to the trade deficit, and stole hundreds of billions of dollars in our intellectual property.
And I have been talking about China for many years. And you know what? Nobody listened. But they are listening now. That, I can tell you.
The city of Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania have lost 1/3 of their manufacturing jobs since the Clinton’s put China into the WTO. 50,000 factories across America have shut their doors in that time. And this factory, because of your great owners, Gabe and Gloria, it’s hanging in. Hanging in. But they just told me, it is not easy.
Almost half of our entire manufacturing trade deficit in goods with the world is the result and it’s the result of trade with China. It was also Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, who shoved us into a job-killing deal with South Korea, as reported by the Economic Policy Institute in May . This deal doubled our trade deficit with South Korea and destroyed nearly 100,000 American jobs.
As Bernie Sanders said, Hillary Clinton voted for virtually every trade agreement that has cost the workers of this country millions, millions of jobs.
Trade reform and the negotiation of great trade deals is the quickest way to bring our jobs back to our country.
To understand why trade reform creates jobs, and it creates a lot of them, we need to understand how all nations grow and prosper. Massive trade deficits subtract directly from our gross domestic product. From 1947 to 2001, a span of over five decades, our inflation-adjusted Gross Domestic Product grew at a rate of 3.5 percent. However, since 2002, the year after we fully opened our markets to Chinese imports, the GDP growth rate has been cut in half.
But is this mean for Americans? Not good. For every 1 percent of GDP growth, we failed to generate in any given year, we failed to create over one million jobs.
What a waste, and what a sad, sad thing.
American’s job creation deficit, due to slower growth since 2002, is well over 20 million jobs. And that is just about the number of jobs our country needs right now to put America back to work at decent wages. Wages are very low, because there is no competition. And they are going to go up, because we’re going to thrive again as a country.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the greatest danger yet. The TPP, as it is known, would be the death blow for American manufacturing. It would give up all of our economic leverage to an international commission that would put the interests of foreign countries above our own. It would further open our markets to aggressive currency cheaters — cheaters, that’s what they are, cheaters.
They are not playing by the rules. They are cheating. It would make it easier for our trading competitors to ship cheap subsidized goods into United States markets, while allowing foreign countries to continue putting up barriers in front of our exports — which is what they do. It is very hard to export to their countries. They make it very difficult.
We, on the other hand — come on in, everybody. Come on in. Bad leadership.
The TPP would lower tariffs would lower tariffs on foreign cars, while leaving in place the foreign practices that keep American cars from being sold overseas.
That is not all, mark my words. China will enter the TPP through the back door at a later date. They are watching, they are studying. They are not in it now, but are going to be in it. If it is good, they will be there.
By the way, if it is no good, they’ll pass. It’s the same way, always is.
The agreement would also force American workers to compete directly against workers from Vietnam, one of the lowest wage countries on Earth. Not only will the TPP undermine our economy, but it will undermine our independence.
That’s what is happening. The TPP creates a new international commission that makes decisions the American people are no longer given the right to veto. These commissions are great for Hillary’s Wall Street funders, who can spend vast amounts of money to influence the people on the commissions and the outcomes.
It should be no surprise, then, that Hillary Clinton, according to Bloomberg, took a leading part in drafting the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Please remember that, especially in November.
She praised or pushed the TPP on 45 separate occasions, and even called it the gold standard. Hillary Clinton was totally for the TPP just a short while ago.
But when she saw my stance — which is totally against — she was shamed into saying she would be against it, too. And I will tell you, it was the same shame that she had recently where she was sort of forced into saying radical “Islamic terrorism,” which she didn’t want to say, but she was shamed into that.
But have no doubt that she will immediately approve it, if it is put before her. And that is guaranteed. Guaranteed.
She will do this, just as she has betrayed American workers for Wall Street and throughout — throughout her career. Her whole career she has betrayed the American worker. She is trying to put on a good front now, she will betray you again.
Her career and her husband have signed so many disasters and never, ever forget NAFTA. Just never ever forget it, because you know what it’s done and I know what it’s done. And in touring, I’ve seen the devastation that it’s left behind.
Here’s how it would go. She would make a small token change, declare the TPP Pact fixed and ram it through and you will suffer. That is why Hillary is now only saying she has problems with TPP in its current form.
You know what that means. That means like they will make a little two-word change and she will fix it and she will feel great. But she says in its current form, she can rush to embrace it again and she will at the earliest opportunity. If the media doesn’t believe me, I have a challenge for you and Hillary. Ask Hillary if she is willing to withdraw from the TPP her first day in office and unconditionally rule out its passage in any form.
There’s no way to fix TPP. We need bilateral trade deals. We do not need to enter into another massive international agreement that ties us up and binds us down, like TPP does.
A Trump administration will change our failed trade policies, and I mean quickly.
Thank you. Here are seven steps I would pursue right away to bring back our jobs. Number one, I am going to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified.
I am going to appoint the toughest and smartest, and I know them all, trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers.
I am going to direct the secretary of commerce to identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm you, the American worker.
I will then direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses. And abuse is the right word.
Number four. I’m going to tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal by a lot. Not just a little, by a lot for our workers.
And if they don’t agree to a renegotiation, which they might not because they are so used to having their own way — not with Trump they won’t have their own way.
Then, I will submit under Article 2205 of the NAFTA Agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal.
Number five. I’m going to instruct my treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator, which should have been done years ago.
Any country that devalues their currency in order to take unfair advantage of the United States, which is many countries, will be met with sharply. And that includes tariffs and taxes.
Number six, I’m going to instruct the U.S. trade representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO.
China’s unfair subsidy behavior is prohibited by the terms of its entrance to the WTO and I intend to enforce those rules and regulations. And basically, I intend to enforce the agreements from all countries, including China.
Seven, if China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets, I will use every lawful — this is very easy. This is so easy. I love saying this. I will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
And when they say trade expansion, they’re talking about other countries, they’re not talking about us because there is no expansion. They get the expansion, we get the joblessness. That’s the way it works. It’s not going to happen anymore.
President Reagan deployed similar trade measures when motorcycle and semiconductor imports threatened U.S. industry. I remember. His tariff on Japanese motorcycles was 45 percent and his tariff to shield America’s semiconductor industry was 100 percent, and that had a big impact, folks. A big impact.
Hillary Clinton and her campaign of fear will 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.
She has it completely backwards. Hillary Clinton unleashed a trade war against the American worker when she supported one terrible deal after another, from NAFTA, to China to South Korea. It doesn’t matter. No matter where she went, the American worker was hurt and you’ll be hurt worse than ever before if she becomes president of the United States. That, I can tell you.
A Trump administration will end that war by getting a fair deal for the American people and the American worker. The era of economic surrender will finally be over. It will be over. You’re not going to see it anymore. Well, I can’t guarantee it, because after me, they’ll probably start doing it again. But we will have four and maybe eight great, great productive years and we’ll never go back and we’ll make sure we never go back.
Thank you. Thank you, very much. Thank you. Thank you very much, everyone. I appreciate it.
A new era of prosperity will finally begin. America will be independent once more. Independent once more. Doesn’t that sound great?
Under a Trump presidency, the American worker will finally have a president who will protect them and fight for them.
We will stand up to trade cheating. Cheating. Cheaters, that’s what they are. Cheaters. We will stand up to trade cheating anywhere and everywhere it threatens the American job.
We will make America the best place in the world to start a business. We’ll hire workers and we’ll open factories and we’ll get rid of these horrible regulations that make it impossible to do business in this country.
This will also include massive tax reform to lift the crushing burdens on American workers and businesses. We will also get rid of all of these rules and all of these problems and all of the bureaucracy which are destroying, absolutely destroying our job creation capacity, which we used to be the best in the world and now we’re getting close to the bottom, folks. We’re getting close to the bottom.
Many people think that these regulations are an even greater impediment than the fact that we’re one of the highest-taxed nations in the world. We’re also going to fully capture America’s tremendous energy capacity. This will create for our workers, and that’s what we want, for our workers, growth for our economy, and begin reducing our budget deficits which are massive; yearly budget deficits, massive.
Our trade deficits, we don’t even want to talk about it. Our budget deficits are massive.
Hillary Clinton wants to shut down energy production and shut down the mines — and she wants to shut down and she said it just recently — she wants to shut down the miners. I want to do exactly the opposite.
A Trump administration will also ensure that we start using American steel for American infrastructure. And aluminum.
Just like the American steel from Pennsylvania that built the Empire State Building, that’s what we’re going to do. It built the Empire State Building. It will be American steel that will fortify America’s crumbling bridges — American steel. It will be American steel.
It will be American steel that sends our skyscrapers soaring, soaring into the sky, beautiful sight, more beautiful with American steel. It will be American steel that rebuilds our inner cities. It will be American hand (ph) that remake this country, and it will American energy mined from American resources, that powers this country.
It will be American workers who are hired to do the job. Nobody else — American workers.
We are going to put American steel and aluminum back into the backbone of our country.
This alone will create massive numbers of jobs, high-paying jobs, good jobs, not the jobs we have today, which everybody agrees are bad jobs. We’re going to create massive numbers of good jobs.
On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy, we are going to put America first again.
We are going to make America wealthy again.
We are going to reject Hillary Clinton’s policy of fear and her policy of absolute nonsense, because it’s not working and it’s grossly incompetent, and we can’t take it any longer, and we’re not going to take it any longer.
We are going to embrace the possibilities of change, but real change, not Obama change, real change.
It’s time to believe in the future. It’s time to believe in each other. It’s time to believe in America again. This is how we are going to make America great again for all Americans, for all Americans.
We’re going to make America great again for everyone, greater than ever before. And I promise you if I become president, we are going to be working again. We are going to have great jobs again. You’re going to be so happy. You’re going to be proud of your president. You’re going to be proud, proud, proud of our country once again.
Thank you very much, I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you very much.