President-Elect Donald Trump said that “other countries are eating our lunch” when it comes to trade deals and environmental policies during an exclusive interview that aired Sunday on “Fox News Sunday.”
Trump spoke of how U.S. workers, those he call the “forgotten” men and women, have watched as their jobs and 70,000 factories were shipped to China, Mexico, and other countries. While foreign countries were building “our plants” without waiting years to receive their permits, Trump noted that American businesses and manufacturers languished for 10 or 15 years while waiting for the Environmental Protection Agency to approve their plans and set regulations. But things are going to change, the president-elect promised.
“If you move your plant or factory and you want to sell back into our country, you fire all your people, there are going to be consequences for that.”
“I do know this: Other countries are eating our lunch … We can’t let all of these permits that take forever to get stop our jobs,” Trump told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. “I won because of the fact that people that are great, great American people have been forgotten. I call them the forgotten man and the forgotten woman.”
When Wallace brought up Trump’s meetings last week with climate change activists former Vice President Al Gore and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Trump maintained that he keeps an “open mind” regarding their concerns. Nevertheless, the president-elect reaffirmed his dedication to dismantling job-killing EPA regulations.
As for the Paris climate agreement, Trump said he is “studying” the issue and deliberating whether it helps or harms U.S. interests.
“I don’t want that agreement to put us at a competitive disadvantage with other countries,” Trump said. “And as you know, there are different times and different time limits on that agreement. I don’t want that to give China, or other countries signing agreements an advantage over us.”
Noting that “business is way down,” Trump said one key way to stop this downturn is “by imposing a tax.” The president-elect proceeded to outline his vision for a 35-percent tax on the imported products of U.S. companies that took their business and manufacturing to foreign countries.
“There’s a 35-percent tax, but there is no tax if you don’t move. But if you move your plant or factory and you want to sell back into our country, you fire all your people, there are going to be consequences for that. There are going to be consequences,” Trump said. “It’s so easy to do and we’re going to have to impose a major tax on companies that leave, build their product and think they’re going to sell it right through our border like we’re a bunch of jerks.”
Wallace then brought up criticism concerning Trump’s recent deal with Carrier in Indiana that awarded the company $7 million in tax cuts in exchange for keeping nearly 1,100 jobs in the U.S. and refusing to outsource to Mexico. Some have argued that Trump’s intervention was not a “free market” solution.
“That is — that’s not free market when they go out and they move and they sell back into our country,” Trump replied. “That’s the dumb market. I’m a big free trader, but it has to be fair.”