Quoted: Trump's Trade Adviser Lays Out The 'Trump Trade Doctrine'

August 24, 2016


Dan DiMicco, senior trade policy adviser to the Trump campaign and the former chairman and CEO of Nucor Steel, contends that major trade deals like NAFTA have essentially killed free trade in the U.S.

[Daily News| August 22, 2016 | Inside US Trade]

DiMicco – who left Nucor in 2012 and was named trade adviser to Trump in June – writes in the Charlotte Observer “there is no such thing as free trade today. Instead, our workers and our domestic manufacturers are at the mercy of trade negotiators that keep selling this country out for short term gain and long run disaster.”

DiMicco contends that his experience in the steel industry showed him the challenges of competing against China, which he says “continues to dump millions of tons of steel into world markets well below the cost of production – and cheat America out of its jobs and factories.”

Trump, he contends, “understands the threat China poses to the U.S. economy, American workers and American companies like Nucor. Hillary Clinton simply does not.”

DiMicco hews to Trump's standard complaints about NAFTA and deals with South Korea and other countries to blame Bill and Hillary Clinton for destroying jobs and closing factories.

Then he gets to what he calls the “Trump Trade Doctrine,” which he states as:

Enter into no trade deal unless it increases our GDP growth rate, decreases our trade deficit, and strengthens our manufacturing base.

DiMicco also promises that Trump will crack down on “cheating” countries with “stiff, defensive tariffs.”

“This is not 'protectionism,' as Clintonites claim,” he contends. “It is common sense.”

Showing 6 reactions

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  • I believe Mr. Bishop’s focus on the domestic “whores” selling out our country will prove to be a much more productive line of discussion than condemning the other nations of the world for their mercantilist practices. To make headway on the domestic political front the conversation needs to be about how to put our own house in order. That way, for example, you can begin to explore how to build a hallway linking the Trump and Sander’s coalitions.

    I have no doubt that many of the awful things people say about China are true. But I doubt they see things the same way. And you do not want to make free trade / mercantilism into examples of good / evil. Equating Free Trade with the good makes it much more difficult to wage a coherent attack on its domestic supporters; i.e., the whores.
  • In 2003, Warren Buffett proposed that our government impose “balanced trade” with China. They could do this over a five-year period through a system of “import certificates.” U.S. companies that export goods to China would receive “import certificates” from the government, which they could then sell to U.S. companies wishing to import goods from China. For each of the five years, the trade deficit with China would be cut by 20%. After five years, our China trade would be in balance. You can Google “Balanced Trade” for the whole story.

    The Richman’s — three generations of economists — who run a website called www.idealtaxes.com have proposed that we balance our trade by implementing a “scaled tariff,” which is within the WTO rules.

    However we achieve it, forcing a balance of trade with China would bring back millions of manufacturing jobs. Since the manufacturing jobs multiplier is 2.9, each new manufacturing job would create almost three jobs in other sectors. We have lost about 8 million manufacturing jobs since we opened our market to China. Balancing trade could result in up to 30 million new jobs for the U.S. economy.

    People who claim that our jobs were lost due to robotics and automation don’t know what they are talking about. The bulk of robotics and automation was in place by the mid-eighties, when our jobs first STARTED going to China. What that automation did was to make U.S. products cheaper, thus allowing U.S. companies to broaden their product lines, and to increase their sales. U.S. workers were NOT put out of work by machines.

    As Paul Craig Roberts, (Father of Reaganomics) explained in his book “How The Economy Was Lost,” the outsourcing of U.S. manufacturing jobs to China is the ANTITHESIS of free trade. (Page 159) Roberts labelled the “experts,” working for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the think tanks funded by multinational companies, who were calling for “globalization” and who were saying “We don’t need manufacturing — we are going to be a service economy.” Roberts labelled them “WHORES,” who are selling out their own country.
  • Should Trump become president, what sort of tariffs would be best?

    The book “Free Trade Doesn’t Work: What Should Replace It and Why, 2011 Edition” by Ian Fletcher, argues for a 50% tariff on imported goods, services and intellectual property. Fletcher says to ratchet up the tariff rate, starting at 10% and increasing 10% annually.

    If say, an iPhone made abroad, with a 50% tariff retails for $1200 instead of $800, then the government gets $400 income on each imported phone sold in the USA. Apple, would be strongly motivated to move the high-value added production steps to the USA, creating many jobs here for both building out the manufacturing infrastructure, and for operating it.

    I expect that Trump will figure out a broad social program benefiting African American and legal Hispanic minorities, e.g. vocational training and relocation incentives, which can be paid for by say $300 billion annual new tariff revenue.
  • American Veterans, Citizens and ALL Politicians need to ‘LIKE’, endorse, vote and implement the speech and strategic plan on Facebook.com/mbrentp​ittmanindiana
  • The successful development of a new workplace culture by Nucor Steel and the mini-mill industry in general is a widely under appreciated accomplishment. I argue this experience provides lessons that can be applied to the development of a new domestic culture for managing international trade. The “Trump Doctrine” provides a useful first step in this direction.

    First, how can the political divide between the Trump and Sander’s voters be bridged?

    Well, mini mills share their prosperity with their workers fairly. If all “DOMESTIC” manufactures did the same perhaps the 12,000,000 or so manufacturing workers and the many millions more associated with them would vote as reliably for new trade policies as the members of the NRA do in defense of the 2nd Amendment.

    Next, mini mills have discovered that unlike board games and sports, in real life work rules and job descriptions do not work. So it would be helpful if people stopped believing in the myth that if every nation in the world would just play by the rules everything would be fine and the ideal of free trade could be realized.

    Mini mills also foster mutual respect between ALL of their workers; extend to one another the courtesy of actually listening, and encourage individual initiative.

    The Trump campaign, by comparison, has thrived by cultivating the entirely justified angst of the white working class using language that alienates others and fosters hatred toward China and all the other “cheaters.”

    Domestically, the Blue Green coalition, to the contrary, sought to bridge the divide between the labor movement and the environmental movement. And this is another key route toward bridging Trump and Sander’s supporters today.
  • China is like a cheating spouse, who repays our “free trade” with mercantilism, which is the opposite of free trade. Free trade has to be balanced trade. If one side is generating huge surpluses, it is no longer free trade. As Paul Craig Roberts said in his book “How The Economy Was Lost,” “Offshoring of American jobs is the antithesis of free trade.”

    You must ask yourself why a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which costs $27,500 in the U.S., costs $85,000 in China. China’s combination of currency manipulation and layers of tariffs makes it nearly impossible for U.S. products to penetrate their market.

    Every voter should read “Death by China,” by Peter Navarro and Greg Autry, to understand the many ways that China is cheating us.

    China is not using its huge trade surplus to improve the lives of its people, but to build up its military and to enrich the honchos of the Chinese Communist Party.