On President Trump’s first Monday in the Oval Office, he delivered on one of his core campaign promises, killing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
It’s not an easy thing to walk into office and undo what your predecessor hailed as his primary economic platform for trading with the Asia-Pacific region. But Trump didn’t run on easy, he ran on results. The American worker can compete just fine around the globe with what I like to call “Fair Free Trade” not “Faux Free Trade.” Trump knows that — and it’s why he won.
The real reason Hillary Clinton got wiped out in the Rust Belt is because nobody believed she’d fight for them. The people of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Ohio, typically Democratic strongholds, care much more about jobs and their future career paths than they did about the DNC’s leaked e-mails or Jim Comey’s announcement or desperate faux Russia propaganda.
As a Clinton should have known, it’s the economy, stupid!
SEE ALSOAnd it demonstrated why Trump was able to beat the establishments of both parties: his ideological independence.
Politicians love to tout their supposed practicality — they don’t care about Red Team, Blue Team stuff, they say. They just want what works. But Trump actually meant it.
That’s why GOP congressional leadership supported TPP but Bernie Sanders danced on its grave today. “I am glad the Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead and gone,” Sanders said. “For the last 30 years, we have had a series of trade deals — including the North American Free Trade Agreement, permanent normal trade relations with China and others — which have cost us millions of decent-paying jobs and caused a ‘race to the bottom’ which has lowered wages for American workers.”
Sanders identifies as a socialist and gave Hillary Clinton a run for her money for the Democratic presidential nomination. She had a hard time putting away the socialist for the same reason she couldn’t defeat a Republican billionaire she portrayed as the Monopoly Man: It wasn’t about national parties, it was about the everyday Americans those parties were leaving behind.
Trump was not elected for his polished politesse — and that’s a good thing, because Americans have come to learn the hard way that polish hides the kinds of flaws that hurt the little guy the most. Ex-President Barack Obama is a perfect example: He campaigned against multinational trade deals but then signed the two left on his desk by George W. Bush after merely renegotiating at the margins so he could pretend it was a victory.
And Trump’s move on TPP shows that, just as important, he’s governing as he campaigned. No two-faced doublespeak. What he said to the American worker, he meant. The voters understood him, and he understood them. Monday, hopefully, got the point across to anyone who still didn’t get it.