Former Nucor CEO, now Trump adviser, says Brexit holds lessons for U.S.

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Former Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco, now an adviser to Donald Trump's campaign, told CNN on Friday that Britain’s vote to exit the European Union has lessons for the U.S. as it nears its presidential election.

[Deon Roberts | June 24, 2016 | Charlotte Observer]

“I think what people should be learning from what’s just taken place in the U.K. – and what’s taken place throughout the Trump primaries and will take place now – is that voters have their own mind,” said DiMicco, who stepped down as CEO of the Charlotte-based steelmaker in 2012.

Some people were projecting the British vote would be an “overwhelming landslide” in favor of staying in the EU, DiMicco noted.

“And they were wrong,” he said. He added that voters “will weigh what they think is important and they will vote for who they chose to.”

In the interview, DiMicco referred to himself as senior trade adviser to the Republican presidential candidate.

The interview also touched on Trump’s prospects for attracting supporters of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. Some of Sanders’ supporters have indicated they plan to vote for Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

DiMicco said he does not claim Sanders’ supporters will “en masse move to Trump or not.”

When asked whether Trump needs votes from Sanders supporters to win, DiMicco replied: “He needs all the supporters that he can, just like Hillary does.”

On trade, DiMicco has been a critic of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which he has said would hurt American manufacturers. Clinton, Sanders and Trump have also spoken against the pact, which President Barack Obama has signed but still requires a vote from Congress.

In an April letter published in The Wall Street Journal, DiMicco wrote: “The concept of free trade may be great in the halls of academia, but it is destructive when used in the real world of trade cheaters.”

Trump, DiMicco said Friday, “is going to negotiate ... to get back free trade as being the way things are really done in the global trading community – as opposed to succumbing to the thing free trade was designed to eliminate, which is massive trade mercantilism, state-owned enterprises and government ownership of the economy.” 

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