Donald Trump’s trade rhetoric splits GOP and makes traditional economists quake

“With his threats to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports, rip up trade deals and force companies such as Apple to bring manufacturing home to the US, Donald Trump has offered a protectionist vision of the future that makes traditional economists quake in their boots,” Shawn Donnan reports for The Financial Times. “But with proposals designed to cater to the fears of angry blue-collar workers in the rust belt states through which his presidential campaign has been moving, the Republican frontrunner has also set off the biggest trade war inside the party since the 1970s. Whether or not Mr Trump is elected, analysts say it is an internecine war that is already having repercussions beyond the party.”

“In an op-ed published in USA Today on Tuesday the property tycoon railed against a vast new Pacific Rim trade pact covering 40 per cent of the global economy that the Obama administration agreed with Japan and 10 other economies last year,” Donnan reports. “‘TPP is the biggest betrayal in a long line of betrayals where politicians have sold out US workers,’ Mr Trump wrote.”

“It is hard to overstate what a shock to the Republican system Mr Trump’s trade pronouncements — and the support they are finding among voters — have been,” Donnan reports. “Since Ronald Reagan the Republican party has, with a few exceptions, been unabashedly pro-trade even as the Democratic party and its labour union base have grown more sceptical. (Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have said they oppose the TPP in its current form). Mr Obama last year relied on Republicans in Congress to marshal votes and secure the “fast-track” authority he needed to conclude the TPP negotiations and others. He needs a repeat of that support to have any hope of seeing the TPP ratified by Congress before he leaves office next January.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We live in interesting times.

Those jobs aren’t coming back. – Steve Jobs, February 2011, when asked by U.S. President Barack Obama why iPhones aren’t made in America

We sell iPhones in over a hundred countries. We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems. Our only obligation is making the best product possible.Anonymous Apple executive, January 2012

The entire supply chain is in China now. You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.Anonymous former Apple executive, January 2012

Why Donald Trump is now targeting Apple and their ‘damn computers’ – January 19, 2016
Trump could cost U.S. consumers $6 billion per year by imposing a 35% tariff on Apple iPhone – January 19, 2016
Trump: We’ll get Apple to manufacture ‘their damn computers and things’ in the U.S.A. – January 18, 2016
Robots, not people, led Apple to make new Mac Pro in the U.S.A. – January 21, 2014
Former Reagan staffer: Apple has an obligation to help solve America’s problems – April 3, 2012

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. Trump only puts his names on things. when they actually put out products they are faulty and fall apart. for example, take his central park south building. My friend moved into a Trump building. There were many many problems with his apartment you would never expect in a luxury building – such as it was Fall of the House of Usher, from tiles falling off the bathroom wall to all the appliances breaking – did they fall off a truck? bought at discount?

  2. lots of people talking about economy jobs and poor people.

    after living a while on planet earth I found that all the talk about helping the poor is basically whacking (like taxing) the MIDDLE class to help the poor.

    the TRUE rich who can afford fancy tax lawyers, accountants, off shore shelters etc are immune . Many rich businessmen pay themselves small salaries to avoid taxes, on the other hand they live in corporate paid lux mansions, have corporate jets, cars, take corporate paid ‘conferences to Bali’ (aka vacations), even the Picasso drawing in their bathroom is from the ‘corporate Art Collection’ (most of these things being tax deductible so good for the corporation as they pay less tax).

    I live in Canada now.
    i give you an interesting example.
    Paul Martin one of the richest men in Canada was Canada’s Finance Minister and then Prime Minister. Most of his families assets and business (about 200m) are located in Barbados where he didn’t pay Canadian taxes.

    (this is a bit different from Apple which pays all USA taxes but holds off shore profits offshore due to high reparation rates)

    Paul Martin’s company CSL (HQ Barbados) actually got Canadian Govt. contracts :
    CBC “n January 2004, Ottawa said CSL had received $161 million in government contracts,”

    btw I think Martin was actually quite competent as PM as he managed to balance the budget etc but that’s another story.

    what I’m saying in short BEING A CYNIC as I am is that whatever the breathing gasbags (aka politicians ) implement if you are middle class you will hurt and the true rich will be immune.

  3. I always come to MDN to help me formulate an opinion about such important issues. I have learnt not to trust my own judgment, but go with the loudest bluster, and adopt their rhetoric and reasoning (if any there be). It has served me well at the water cooler. In practical terms, that leads to advancement, regardless of merit. Cynicism 1, Naïveté 0.

  4. No sane person opposes international trade.

    The problem is what has been codified in these so-called “free trade” agreements as they have been used as a loophole around our Constitution and legal process. They have concocted ‘Executive-Congressional Agreements’ that are treated in court as treaties, but are not subject to the process for treaties prescribed by our Constitution. They are further passed under ‘trade promotion authority’ or fast track, that bypasses the normal process of Congressional hearings and amendments. Finally, they are negotiated in secret.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    During the negotiations, the details of the treaty are secret to citizens while every lobbyists for big business has a front row seat. Consumer groups, environmental groups, labor groups, citizen watchdog groups are kept out and in the dark. Members of Congress are allowed to look at the drafts of the document, but are not allowed to even take notes. Special Interests become the inmates running the asylum while the citizen and his interests are muzzled.

    Again, what could possibly go wrong?

    In some instances the full text is kept hidden from public view until AFTER the deal is enacted. The TPP has portions where the text is embargoed for years after the fact- essentially secret law.

    Again, with emphasis, what could possibly go wrong?

    Big Business interests dump stuff into these ‘trade’ agreements that have nothing to do its trade, but have everything to do with getting stuff in law that cannot pass Congress by the proper method. SOPA and PIPA – killed by Congress after citizen opposition- are neatly inserted into the TPP. How about that for a Fuck You from the MPAA and RIAA?

    This is all about money. Note that the Republicans in Congress that oppose everything done by the President have given him this fast track authority which limits their oversight and forces them into an up or down vote without amendment.

    A proper trade deal would be negotiated in public, subject to oversight and amendment and voted on as a Treaty subject to a 2/3rds majority in the Senate. That is not what has been or is being done. These deals are opposed by Libertarians and Progressives and championed by the bought and paid for mainstream Democrats and Republicans.

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