Trump: 'Put American Steel and Aluminum Back Into the Backbone of Our Country'

By Susan Jones | June 29, 2016 | 9:51am EDT

( - Speaking at a factory in small-town Pennsylvania on Tuesday, Republican Donald Trump promised to end the nation's "failed trade policies."

He blamed globalization and the "financial elite" for moving American jobs overseas, and he outlined a seven-step plan to "bring back our jobs."

Making it clear where his focus is, Trump used the words "America" or "American" 66 times in the course of his speech.

"A Trump administration will...start using American steel for American infrastructure -- and aluminum. Just like the American steel from Pennsylvania that built the Empire State Building, that's what we're going to do."

Trump promised that "American steel" will fortify America's crumbling bridges. "It will be American steel that sends our skyscrapers soaring, soaring into the sky, beautiful sight, more beautiful with American steel...It will be American workers who are hired to do the job. Nobody else -- American workers.

"We are going to put American steel and aluminum back into the backbone of our country," Trump promised.

He said that alone will create "massive numbers" of high-paying jobs.

Trump noted that the U.S. has lost nearly one-third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997, even as the country's population has increased by 50 million people.

He said the first step in his jobs plan would be to scrap the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiated by the Obama administration and supported by many congressional Republicans.

"We need bilateral trade deals," Trump said. "We do not need to enter into another massive international agreement that ties us up and binds us down, like TPP does."

He also said he'd renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

Trump said he would label China a currency manipulator: "Any country that devalues their currency in order to take unfair advantage of the United States, which is many countries, will be met with sharply. And that includes tariffs and taxes," he said.

He also attacked Chinese subsidies, saying he would "use every lawful presidential power" to remedy trade disputes, including tariffs.

Trump dismissed critics who say he'll start a trade war: "You already have a trade war, and we're losing badly."

He promised to make "a fair deal" for American workers:

"The era of economic surrender will finally be over. It will be over. You're not going to see it anymore. Well, I can't guarantee it, because after me, they'll probably start doing it again. But we will have four and maybe eight great, great productive years and we'll never go back and we'll make sure we never go back."

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