Cox: Why Brexit would be a boon for Donald Trump

By Rob Cox
May 10, 2016

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

It is June 24 and a majority of Britons have voted to leave the European Union. U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he’s inspired by their victory and calls for a similar referendum on the North American Free Trade Agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership in the United States. Breakingviews obtained an early copy of Trump’s speech (three-quarters of which is composed verbatim of Trump’s previous comments on the topic).

I just got off the phone with my English politician friend Boris Johnson. I congratulated him on his huge victory in convincing the people of Britain to do what we should be doing here.

Yesterday, the British held a referendum and decided they’ve had enough. No more sending good manufacturing jobs overseas. No more letting bureaucrats in Brussels decide the shape of their bananas or whatever. Seriously, it’s crazy.

No more giving Romanian plumbers jobs that belong to English workers. And no more allowing freeloading migrants to cross the English Channel. Migration has been a horrible thing for Europe.

We might have fought with the Brits over the years. They even tried to keep me out of the country. I know Great Britain very well. I know the country very well. I have a lot of investments there. The Brits are sending a message as clear as day across the pond: We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism.

America First will be the major and overriding theme of my administration.

You won’t get that from Crooked Hill and Lyin’ Bill. They got us into this mess. It’s a total disaster. Under a Trump administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of foreign countries.

I will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs. NAFTA has been a total disaster and has emptied our states of our manufacturing and our jobs. Never again. Only the reverse will happen. We will keep our jobs and bring in new ones. There will be consequences for companies that leave the United States only to exploit it later. Let’s say Ford – let’s say Ford moves to Mexico. If they want to sell that car in the United States they pay a tax. They’re not going to build their plant there. They’re going to build it in the United States.

We will either renegotiate NAFTA or we will break it. Because, you know, every agreement has a defraud clause. We’re being defrauded by all these countries.

Our manufacturing trade deficit with the world is now approaching $1 trillion a year. We’re rebuilding other countries while weakening our own. Ending the theft of American jobs will give us the resources we need to rebuild our military and regain our financial independence and strength.

I am the only person running for the presidency who understands this problem and knows how to fix it. I have the smartest people on Wall Street lined up already. They’re going to represent us on Japan, on Mexico. Mexico, by the way, is taking our jobs. I love the Mexican people. Their food is great, too.

Then there’s the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Crooked Hill now says she’s against these agreements. Gimme a break: she wrote it for Obama.

It’s a horrible trade agreement. You have 12 countries – all of whom want to rip our heart out. You have China, which is not a part of it but wants to be a part of it at a later date. They’re watching every move, ready to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone.

It’s too complicated. It’s too big. Each country knows every word of that document and our people have never even looked at it or read it. It’s 5,600 pages long. We don’t know what the hell it says. It’s like Obamacare; nobody ever read it. We should not do it.

And the situation is about to get drastically worse if the TPP is not stopped. One of the first casualties will be America’s auto industry, and among the worst victims of this pact will be the people of Ohio. The TPP will send America’s remaining auto jobs to Japan.

America’s politicians – beholden to global corporate interests who profit from offshoring – have enabled jobs theft in every imaginable way. They have tolerated foreign trade cheating while enacting trade deals that encourage companies to shift production overseas. In recent months, for instance, we have seen Carrier air conditioning lay off 1,400 workers and move to Mexico. Since NAFTA was signed in 1993, we’ve lost approximately 900,000 jobs to Mexico alone, the pro-labor Economic Policy Institute found.

I am the only candidate in this race who will bring our manufacturing jobs back. I have been warning for decades what would happen if we didn’t confront foreign trade cheating, and sadly, my fears have come to pass.

Like the British did – and in the spirit of Winston Churchill – we’re going to take our country back. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican – or if you backed Bernie Sanders. Shameful what the Democrats did to that good man. He had it right when he said NAFTA and TPP were disastrous.

When I am president, we’re going to trash these agreements once and for all. Thank you and God bless this great country.

One comment

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Since Trump is famously a birther, he certainly wouldn’t refer to Boris Johnson, born in New York City, as his “British” friend, I think.

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