20
Jun

Chamber of Commerce rips Trump’s trade speech in real time





Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on June 16 at Gilley's in Dallas, Texas.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks on June 16 at Gilley’s in Dallas, Texas. | Getty

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce answered Donald Trump’s trade policy speech on Tuesday by attempting to pick apart the presumptive Republican nominee’s policies point by point, engaging in a rapid-fire succession of social media posts hitting him for his opposition to international trade deals.

In a post published before Trump took to the stage at a raw aluminum producer in Monessen, Pennsylvania, the chamber laid out the stakes for trade in both Pennsylvania and in Ohio. (The Republican is set to hold a rally in St. Clairsville, Ohio later Tuesday evening.)

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“Trade is no panacea. Some workers lose their jobs to international competition, just as technological change and shifting consumer tastes regularly put some manufacturers out of business,” wrote John G. Murphy, the chamber’s senior vice president for international policy. “It’s appropriate for the federal government to provide these workers with training and transition assistance — and of a better quality than current federal programs.”

“But contrary to rumor, the benefits of trade greatly outweigh the costs,” Murphy wrote. “In fact, trade has been a lifeline for many more workers in Pennsylvania and Ohio — especially in the wake of the recession.”

During Trump’s address, Murphy tweeted, “US companies invest abroad to tap cheap labor? Actually … ” sharing a link to a Chamber LinkedIn article headlined “The 10 Most Overlooked Facts About International Investment.”

The Chamber then shared another one of Murphy’s articles from May, titled “The NAFTA the Candidates Haven’t Met,” following up with multiple tweets touting the benefits of the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.

As Trump pilloried the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement with which Hillary Clinton also disagrees, the Chamber’s Twitter account shared multiple benefits for the trade deal.

“Under Trump’s trade plans, we would see higher prices, fewer jobs, and a weaker economy,” another tweet read, with another re-upping its analysis that Trump’s proposed tariffs “would strip us of at least 3.5 million jobs.”

The Chamber later shared an article from May headlined “Point and Counterpoint on Trade: Responding to Trump, Sanders, Clinton,” which concluded that “there’s a gulf between what the candidates are saying about trade and the facts.”

Trump’s speech also drew blowback from the National Association of Manufacturers.

“.@realDonaldTrump you have it backward. Trade is GOOD for #mfg workers & #jobs. Let’s #MakeAmericaTradeAgain,” Jay Timmons, the president and CEO of the association tweeted during the speech.