Mike Pence to Levin: Donald Trump and I Both Support Free Trade

Michael Morris | September 23, 2016 | 3:57pm EDT
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GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

On his nationally syndicated radio talk show, host Mark Levin spoke with GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence about some of the concerns conservatives have regarding GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s policies on trade, to which Pence stated, “Donald Trump and I both support free trade.”

“Donald Trump and I both support free trade,” stated GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence. “We know that trade means jobs in this country, and exports. It also means low-cost goods for American consumers. That’s basic free market economics.”

Below is a transcript of part of the exchange between Mark Levin and GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence:

Levin: “How about his view on trade? You know, we’ve never really had free trade. We’ve got 12,000 tariffs in place in this country. We manipulate our own currency with quantitative easing – one, two, three, six and whatever they’re on now. I do understand other countries do similar things, but are you and he basically in support of free market capitalism and fairly free trade or not?”

Pence: “Alright, I think we both, I think it’s a great question, and I’d love getting directly to the answer: Donald Trump and I both support free trade. We know that trade means jobs in this country, and exports. It also means low-cost goods for American consumers. That’s basic free market economics.

“What Donald Trump is really talking about is looking at these trade deals that we’ve gotten into, in particular NAFTA, and just, just really reevaluating them as to whether or not they’re working for the American worker.

“When you see particularly the impact in the United States on automotive jobs in the 20 years since NAFTA, it’s not a pretty picture. I mean, we’ve seen an awful lot of companies – we had one in Indiana this year – just abruptly pull up stakes and announce they’re moving to Mexico.

“The company called Carrier, moved 1,400 jobs without so much as a prior notice to Mexico, and when I asked them about it they said there were two reasons: Number one, all of their competitors were already in Mexico, and number 2, the avalanche of red tape coming out of Washington D.C. was stifling their industry.

“So I think that, you know, when he went down to Mexico City and he met with President Peña Nieto that they talked about reforming NAFTA and I expect, if we have the privilege of serving, that will be very very much in the forefront of our agenda – to sit down, to work with our trading partners in North America and make sure that NAFTA, if we go forward with it, works for the American worker and that we’re consistently making sure that that’s the case.

“With regard to TPP, I will tell you, you know, I have always supported free trade efforts throughout my years in the congress and as a governor, but I think Donald Trump makes a very very good argument that these multinational trade deals become so enormous and so cumbersome that it’s very difficult for us to hold individual countries that may be violating the agreement accountable – very difficult for America extricate themself from them if it turns out not to be working for our economy or for American workers.

“So, I fully support his effort to pursue trade policies where we negotiate one country at a time and we drive a hard bargain.

“We have the most powerful economy on the earth, by a lot. Access to our economy is an enormous benefit to any country.

“And I think, when Donald Trump becomes president, that you’ll see in our chief executive someone who insists that we sit down, that we renegotiate, that we negotiate trade deals that certainly open up opportunities for commerce but do it in a way that can be held accountable and really put the American worker first.”

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