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Fact-Checking Trump’s Speech on Trade

Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump touted his trade and economic plans in Monessan, Pennsylvania on Tuesday. NBC News fact-checked some of his claims.

CLAIM: "When subsidized foreign steel is dumped into our markets, threatening our factories, the politicians do nothing."

The facts: When China subsidized anti-corrosive steel, the U.S. Government slapped a 226% tariff on them to correspond with the subsidies.

CLAIM: "Skilled craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers have seen the jobs they loved shipped thousands of miles away."

The facts: Yes, outsourcing happens, resulting in the movement of U.S. jobs overseas. But it's also worth noting that automation is also a major factor in the changing job market as well. Take the big Verizon strike: Verizon¹s customer service had been largely automated with robots, supposedly mitigating the damage, and limiting the number of phone tellers they need.

CLAIM: "Hillary Clinton was totally for the TPP just a short while ago, but when she saw my stance, which is totally against, she was shamed into saying she would be against it too ­ but have no doubt, she will immediately approve it if it is put before her, guaranteed."

The facts: Clinton supported the policy during its negotiation. Days after its final release, she said she did not support how it turned out. While Trump has adamantly opposed TPP since before his campaign began and before the final deal was released, there's no indication that his remarks changed her mind.

CLAIM: "Many people think that these regulations are an even greater impediment than the fact that we are one of the highest taxed nations in the world."

The facts: This claim is closer to the truth than Trump's previous statements that the U.S. is "the highest" taxed nation in the world. As Politifact wrote earlier this year: "Taxation accounted for 26 percent of GDP, which ranks America 27th out of 30 countries (the OECD average was more than 34 percent).The top five highest-taxed countries as a percentage of GDP were Denmark, France, Belgium, Finland and Italy, all topping 43 percent. As for tax revenue per capita, we move up a bit. America is 17th out of 29 countries by this measure on the OECD list, with taxes totaling $14,994 per person. The top five were Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland, which ranged from a high of almost $50,000 to to more than $23,000." The U.S. measures up to other countries differently depending on what yardstick you use, but in no calculation is it "the highest" taxed nation in the world.

CLAIM: "It was also Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, who shoved us into a job-killing deal with South Korea in 2012."

The facts: George W. Bush signed the U.S.—Korea free trade agreement in 2007, but the implementation of the agreement stalled when Congress failed to ratify it before the 2008 election. It was endorsed by an array of constituencies Trump claims to want to defend — Ford Motor Co. and the United Autoworkers union both backed it, as well as Sen. John McCain on the campaign trail in 2008. Then-Sen. Barack Obama initially criticized the deal, but eventually engaged in negotiations himself to broker a final agreement in December of 2010. Hillary Clinton was indeed serving as Secretary of State, but she far from "shoved" the U.S. into the agreement.