Dem Rep. Tim Ryan: Trump’s Trade Executive Orders ‘Theatric,’ Not ‘Bold Action He Promised’

China Trade AP PhotoNg Han Guan
AP/Ng Han Guan

Ohio Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan dismissed the executive orders on trade President Donald Trump signed Friday as a halfhearted attempt to change the subject.

“President Trump spoke at length about these inequities during the campaign, promising immediate action to level the playing field if elected,” said Ryan, who garnered one-third of his Democratic colleagues when he challenged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for the top leadership post.

“Now that he sits in the Oval Office he’s opted for theatric signings of executive orders that do very little, instead of the doing the bold action he promised like declaring China a currency manipulator on day one or looking at ways to fix NAFTA,” he said.

Like Trump, Ryan has been a harsh critic of Chinese trade policies, and in 2010 his bill that would have punished China for currency manipulation passed the House, but was not taken up by the Senate.

“Unfair trade practices have hurt communities in Northeast Ohio and across the U.S. for decades,” the congressman said.

Ryan is very popular in his district since winning his seat in 2002. In his last three elections, he won with 73 percent in 2012, 69 percent in 2014, and 68 percent in 2016.

But, Ryan cannot ignore Trump’s pull with his voters. In 2016, the president picked up 45 percent of the vote, compared to 36 percent for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in 2008 and 35 percent for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Ryan tried to strike a balance.

“While efforts to collect the $2.8 billion in unpaid trade penalties should be encouraged, we lose that much every three days to our trade deficit with China, so that is no substitute for a reformed approach to trade that benefits all Americans,” he said.

” I will be watching President Trump’s future actions following this report very closely to make sure he is serious about confronting this important issue, and I will continue to fight for the men and women in my district who need a voice in these trade negotiations.”


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