WASHINGTON, Aug. 25, 2016 - Donald Trump is shifting sharply on the immigration issue, but he isn’t pulling his punches on trade policy. During a speech in Tampa, Fla., yesterday, he laid out a seven-step trade plan that includes withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and going after China with trade enforcement actions.
Trump specifically promised to label China as a currency manipulator, and he repeated his threat to impose tariffs on Chinese exports.
“I’m going to use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs consistent with federal law …. They have to understand we're not playing games any longer,” Trump said.
Vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, as usual, takes a softer approach on the issue. He assured an audience in Charlotte, N.C., that Trump wasn’t interested in “walking away from free trade.” What Trump is talking about, Pence says, is “having tough negotiators and holding our trading partners to their word and their commitments.”
Trump effect: GOP voters turning hard against trade. That said, supporters of the TPP and of U.S. trade policy generally have to be very concerned about the growing skepticism about trade deals among Republican voters. According to a Pew poll conducted this month, 58 percent of Trump’s supporters now see the TPP as bad for the United States, while 55 percent of Hillary Clinton’s backers think it would be a good thing.
The poll also found that Republican opposition to free trade agreements has increased significantly over the past year. In May 2015, a month before Trump announced his candidacy, and just before a series of congressional votes on trade promotion authority, 51 percent of Republicans said free trade agreements were good for the country. Only 39 percent said they had been bad. Now, 61 percent of GOP voters say trade deals hurt the country.
That’s a stunning turnaround, clearly attributable to the Trump campaign. Republican lawmakers are going to be hard-pressed to ignore those numbers.
Trump open to letting illegal immigrants stay. Trump appears to be reversing himself on the issue of deporting illegal immigrants. In the second part of an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity that aired last night, Trump indicated he was open to allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the country. “They’ll pay back taxes, they have to pay taxes … there’s no amnesty, but we work with them,” Trump said.
He ruled out a path to citizenship, but the position he described is very similar to what Jeb Bush and other rivals were proposing during the GOP primaries.
During an earlier interview with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, Trump suggested he would generally follow President Obama’s deportation policy. “We’re going to go through the process like they are now, perhaps with a lot more energy,” Trump said.
Obama’s policy has largely been good for agriculture in recent years because he has shifted enforcement resources away from the U.S. interior to the border.
Trump pivot met with skepticism. Latino and immigration reform activists say they aren’t buying Trump’s new tone on deporting illegal immigrants. “There were no new policies that he put forward. … He just changed the way that he talked about it,” said Lynn Tramonte, deputy director of the advocacy group America’s Voice.
Rocio Saenz, international executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, told reporters that “nobody should believe” that Trump is rethinking his policy. “We all know what he said about immigrants and mass deportations.”
USDA, EPA offer broadband aid to coal towns. USDA and EPA are spending $400,000 to help expand broadband service in towns hurt by the steep downturn in the coal industry. The “Cool and Connected ” initiative is part of a broader plan announced by the White House to target nearly $40 million in new aid into struggling parts of Appalachia.
The announcement comes as Hillary Clinton is struggling to overcome accusations that Democrats have been carrying on a war against coal. The 10 towns targeted by the USDA-EPA initiative include four communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio, two states that Trump has targeted. A fifth community is in Virginia, another swing state.
Tackling food safety with - a poem. USDA is circulating an employee-written poem that the department hopes will encourage kids to keep their hands clean and avoid food-borne illnesses. Or getting sick at all.
The poem, “My Favorite Class is Lunch,” includes the message that “soap and warm water get rid of germs and disease; I count to twenty when I scrub or I sing the ABC’s.”
But the poem is clearly aimed at parents, not just kids, with a not-so-subtle message about the need to make sure their lunch meat stays cool: “I open up my lunch box, chicken sandwich—I’m thrilled! And Mom threw in an ice pack to keep all my food chilled.” (Your Daybreak editor wonders how often parents actually do that.)
The poem, written by Janell Goodwin, a technical information specialist with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, also is being made available inposter format.
He said it. “They'll like us better than they do now. They don’t like us.” - Donald Trump, on how China will react to his promised trade enforcement actions