House Speaker Paul Ryan — who once pushed for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — attacked President Trump’s fair trade agenda, saying he did not believe “new tariffs” on imported goods is “the solution” to the country’s growing trade imbalance.
In a speech for the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., Ryan continued his support for endless free trade deals, despite Trump’s popularity among Republican and conservative voters on the issue of trade.
Ryan said he is now concerned with American jobs moving overseas, though that concern did not play a factor in his support and promotion of TPP, which would have moved American industry overseas.
Ryan said, according to Politico:
The other [Trans-Pacific Partnership] nations have moved forward with that agreement. Any day now the EU will sign a new trade agreement with Japan. The EU has also recently initiated negotiations with Australia and New Zealand. So the point is, the world is moving ahead. They’re getting preferential agreements between themselves.
We risked having jobs being moved overseas and we risk a decline in American influence. All of this matters. As our generals will tell you, these agreements are just as important for our national security as they are for our economy.
I’ve made my view clear. New tariffs are not the solution. There are better ways. There are other tools we can use.
Ryan’s blasting of Trump’s fair trade agenda is deeply at odds with the majority of GOP voters. The latest Morning Consult Poll showed that 65 percent of Republican voters said they support imposing tariffs on foreign-made goods that compete with products made in the U.S.
Meanwhile, 66 percent of self-described conservatives said they too support tariffs on imported goods that compete against American made industries.
Trump’s economic nationalism on trade — a reverse from decades of the GOP’s free trade absolutism — has significantly won over young white men, as Breitbart News reported.
The latest Reuters/Ipsos Poll reveals that 46 percent of young white men now favor the Republicans over Democrats, a near complete switch from where the demographic group stood just two years ago when the GOP was still led by free traders and open borders advocates.
"Since his election though, Trump has transformed the GOP into a party based on the interests of American workers, rather than big business donors. That successful transformation has translated into a winning streak among young white American men." https://t.co/nAHUEsKVhj
— John Binder 👽 (@JxhnBinder) July 3, 2018
TPP, had Trump not killed the free trade deal, would have would have wiped out not only millions of U.S. working and middle-class jobs but also would have driven down wages for remaining American workers.
TPP would have readily opened up additional foreign markets in Vietnam and Malaysia, allowing multinational corporations to further outsource and offshore American jobs. Under TPP, American workers would have to compete with the slave labor that is often used in Vietnam and Malaysia.
Since 2001, free trade with China has cost millions of Americans their jobs. For example, in a report by the Economic Policy Institute, between 2001 and 2015, about 3.4 million U.S. jobs were lost due to the country’s trade deficit with China.
Of the 3.4 million U.S. jobs lost in that time period, about 2.6 million were lost in the crippled manufacturing industry, making up about three-fourths of the loss of jobs from the U.S.-Chinese trade deficit.