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2020 Election Guide


President Donald Trump

Supports a protectionist trade policy of levying tariffs

  • Has levied tariffs on foreign imports as part of his "America First" economic policy to reduce the trade deficit
  • Said he would impose tariffs, between 15% and 35%, on companies that moved their operations to Mexico in a move to protect American job
  • Trading partners Canada, China and India implemented retaliatory tariffs on US goods. Studies have found that they reduced US income and adversely affected US GDP
  • Has threatened to pull out of WTO

Renegotiated NAFTA

  • Re-negotiated NAFTA, to the USMCA - a free trade deal between the US, Mexico and Canada that retains several NAFTA provisions
  • NAFTA was blamed for killing more than 700,000 American jobs and shuttering at least 60,000 US factories by clearing a path for companies to move manufacturing to Mexico
  • USMCA included provisions that would bring more jobs to America, especially in the auto industry, increase wages of workers and also help expand the dairy industry
  • However, it does not address climate change by including necessary environmental regulations

Withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership

  • Withdrew from the TPP in 2017 which would have lowered tariffs and other trade barriers among 12 countries bordering the Pacific Ocean
  • Claimed the deal would have benefitted large corporations and cost millions of American jobs
  • However, some believe the deal would have bolstered America's position in the Asia-Pacific region, where China is growing in influence

Signed a trade deal with China that increased farm goods

  • Signed the Phase 1 agreement with China in 2020, under which Beijing agreed to buy about $200 billion of US products over two years
  • The trade deal reduced US tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by Trump
  • Pledges in his second-term agenda to bring back 1 million manufacturing jobs from China

Does not support the call to defund the police

  • Signed an executive order to incentivize police departments to update their standards on training and credentialing by rewarding them with federal grant money opportunities
  • He feels the police force is understaffed and under supported, wants to increase investment

Imposed tariffs on EU goods, effectively started a trade war

  • The two sides went through a trade war after the US announced steel and aluminium tariffs
  • Imposed 25% tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European goods

Former VP Joe Biden

Supports free trade, has criticized Trump's tariffs

  • Will pursue trade policy that works for American farmers and reduce trade barriers
  • Will reverse tax policies that encourage corporations to outsource American jobs
  • Will apply a carbon adjustment fee against countries that are failing to meet their climate and environmental obligations
  • Will seek to repair relations with traditional US trading partners by removing Trump's tariffs on imported goods and restore American leadership within international institutions like the World Trade Organization

Voted for NAFTA but now acknowledges USMCA is better

  • Admits that Trump's USMCA (a renegotiated NAFTA) is better. But claimed that despite the deal there was a "gigantic deficit in trade with Mexico" because of the overall trade policy
  • He has credited House Democrats who insisted on stronger environmental and labor provisions before voting to approve it for the policy's success

Has criticized Trump's trade war with China

  • He has criticized Trump's imposition of tariffs and his trade war with China as it had a negative effect on US agriculture and manufacturing
  • Said that China should be held accountable for their unfair trade practices and might keep Trump's tariffs levied on goods from the country
  • Will rally the US' trade allies in a coordinated effort to pressure the Chinese government and other trade abusers to follow the rules and hold them accountable

Will renegotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Trump opted out of

  • Biden has said he will renegotiate the TPP which he sees as a necessary counterweight to China's growth in trade

Will end Trump's trade war with the EU

  • Will end the “artificial trade war” that Trump launched against the EU if he wins the US election

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