Election 2016: Your money, your vote
Donald Trump's big economic plan: Fix U.S. trade
by Heather Long @byHeatherLong March 15, 2016: 2:20 PM ET
"The great American middle class is disappearing. One of the factors driving this economic devastation is America's disastrous trade policies," Trump wrote in a new op-ed in USA Today.
He says he'll use his deal making skills to turn America back into a winner in trade with China, Mexico and others.
But business leaders and economists from both sides of the aisle warn Trump's idea to slap hefty fees on Chinese and Mexican imports -- as much as 45% -- would be disastrous for the economy.
Here's a rundown of Trump's key arguments on trade. Exit polls show the issue is winning Trump votes. He hopes it will lead to victory in Ohio in a close matchup with Governor John Kasich.
1. Trump's claim: Trade is killing jobs
"Trade is a factor, but technological change has been more important," says Robert Lawrence, professor of international trade at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Computers and robots are replacing manufacturing jobs. The predictions are that even more positions -- including "highly skilled" ones -- will be replaced by robots in the coming years.
2. Trump: Ohio has lost 100,000 jobs to trade
3. Trump's plan: The art of the (trade) deal
Trump's solution is to renegotiate trade agreements (the U.S. currently has 20 free-trade deals in place) and put taxes (known as tariffs) on Chinese and Mexican imports.
The problem is China and Mexico aren't likely to send Trump a thank you note. They would probably retaliate by putting taxes on U.S. goods coming into their countries. It could cause a global trade war.
"His plan to put on a 35% tariff on goods imported would sink this country into a recession. It would penalize global companies that are trying to be competitive globally," HP Enterprises (HPE, Tech30) CEO Meg Whitman, a prominent Republican, said recently.
4. Trump says stop the TPP trade deal
The bottom line
Bashing trade is helping Trump win votes. But both Republican and Democratic experts warn his plan to "fix" trade deals could cause an economic war that leaves Americans even worse off.
CNNMoney (New York) First published March 15, 2016: 1:04 PM ET
A U.S.A. Politico Profetico! Are "TRUMPS" foreign trade policies and Economic plans really a "FIASCO"?
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