If This is the Art of the Deal, We’re in Trouble

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch

Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch Digital Media Director, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Hey, remember this?

That Donald Trump clip has a little bit of everything: Trump Tower, the George Washington Bridge, Tom Brady, and even ISIS. It's from Trump's 2016 speech launching his presidential campaign, and set the course for his campaign and eventual presidency.

As you might recall, the entire speech is, um, very Trumpian. In the clip above, Trump makes the argument that China is hurting the United States because of unfair trade, and it's time for new leadership (guess who!) to make a better deal. Here's Trump:

We have all the cards, but we don’t know how to use them. We don’t even know that we have the cards, because our leaders don’t understand the game. We could turn off that spigot by charging them tax until they behave properly. 

Which brings us to this past weekend.

Trump administration officials and Chinese leaders held a series of meetings in Beijing and Washington over the past several weeks to talk trade issues. The talks stemmed from Trump's decision to issue tariffs on select Chinese products in response to China's years of unchecked theft of intellectual property. China, you'll recall, responded with its own set of tariffs on American products.

On Saturday, following the conclusions of the talks, the U.S. and China issued a joint statement. But as many already pointed out, there's not a lot actually here.

China made no tangible, enforceable commitments to finally begin to address its intellectual property theft, which costs the American economy hundreds of billions of dollars every year. China also didn't agree to any measurable reform of its many unfair trade practices (state-led capitalism, industrial overcapacity, piracy, currency cheating, etc.) that cost 3.4 million American jobs between 2001 and 2015 alone.

Instead, U.S. officials agreed to suspend the use of tariffs on Chinese products, which was the biggest playing card it had. Now China has no pressure to actually make good on its promises of reform. Without any pressure, China is highly unlikely to make good on those promises. 

If this is indeed a trade war, China is winning.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump talked a big game when it comes to China. President Trump seems to have less of an appetite for actually playing it.

In his presidential announcement speech in 2016, Trump compared China's leadership to Tom Brady. If that's the case, Trump is looking less like Eli Manning and more like Jake Delhomme.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Labor Wins

From the AFL-CIO

On Tuesday, the labor movement drove historic wins for pro-worker candidates like Governor-Elect Andy Beshear in Kentucky and new legislative majorities in Virginia. Not only did union members come out to vote in droves, 270 union member candidates were elected to public office last night and counting. This adds to the total of more than 900 union members elected up and down the ballot in last year’s midterms, a product of the Union Member Candidate Program launched by the AFL-CIO just two years ago. The share of union members who won in the 2018 midterms is two-thirds. The program will continue through 2020 and beyond, electing even more union members to public office. 

“Our efforts recruiting, training and supporting labor candidates have led to the passage of pro-worker legislation from coast to coast and everywhere in between,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.

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