November 11, 2017
In his speech to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, President Donald Trump pushed his “America First” agenda and said his administration would fight “chronic trade abuses,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.
During his Friday remarks to the summit, in which accusations of “unfair trade practices” played a major role, Trump put his audience on notice: “We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore.”
“While we lowered or ended tariffs, reduced trade barriers, other countries did not open their markets to us,” Trump said. “The current trade balance is not acceptable.”
Trump used the occasion to push his “America First” economic agenda. “I am always going to put America first, the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first,” the president said, garnering applause.
“Jobs, factories, and industries were stripped out of the United States and out of many countries in addition,” Trump said. “And many opportunities for mutually beneficial investments were lost because people could not trust the system.
“We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses. And we will not tolerate them,” he continued.
“I do not blame China or any other country, of which there are many, for taking advantage of the United States on trade,” he added. “If their representatives are able to get away with it, they are just doing their jobs.
“I wish previous administrations in my country saw what was happening and did something about it,” the president continued. “They did not, but I will.
“From this day forward, we will compete on a fair and equal basis. We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore.”
Full speech here, for the curious:
Economic nationalism and job creation have been big items on the president’s agenda, obviously, but the venue for airing them was certainly interesting — and telling.
By making the remarks at a meeting of world leaders on foreign soil, Trump threw down the gauntlet on trade, letting the world at large know that this isn’t just about campaign rhetoric.
Now, he has to step up and prove he can turn words into deeds.