Hillary Clinton For… Whatever?

untitledHillary Clinton is popular among voters as a person who shifts her view on a number of issues: gay marriage, the Iraq War, the keystone pipeline, and multiple trade deals. Clinton currently opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership yet when she was Secretary of State under the Obama Administration, she “praised the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a deal that ‘sets the gold standard in trade agreements.” At the Presidential debate, Trump accused her of flip-flopping only after he spoke out against the trade deal. Clinton has carefully acknowledged the subject by revealing she at one point agreed with the trade deal, but after closer reconsideration she stated, “it didn’t meet my standards.” When she was discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, she never bashed President Obama, but simply stated that, “it didn’t meet her standards.” This is a very calculated statement because instead of looking like an inconsistent flip flopper, she appears more attentive and thorough in regards to trade deals, when, in reality, she changed positions when she realized the deal was not popular among voters. Although Clinton may have a history of flip flopping positions, every time she shifts her opinion, she does so in a very calculated and articulate way.


Flip Flopping Record

That was not the first Hillary Clinton has switched her position on a trade deal. In 1993, Clinton praised her husband when he signed NAFTA into law, but during her 2008 presidential campaign, she referred to the deal as a “mistake.” However, instead of abruptly moving from one side to another, she cautiously tip toes her way from one opinion to another. For example, instead of outright calling NAFTA one of the worst trade deals our country has every made, she carefully states, “It did not deliver on what we had hoped it would.” Unlike her opponent, she never makes a decision without carefully calculating what and how she will communicate.



Trump’s US / China Trade Policy Rhetoric

“The devaluations of their currencies by China and Japan and many, many other countries, and we don’t do it because we don’t play the game.”

“We don’t win at trade, China, everybody, Japan, Mexico, Vietnam, India, name the country. Anybody we do business with beats us. We don’t win at trade.”

“They [Japan] have cars coming in by the millions and we sell practically nothing. When Japan thinks we mean it, they’ll stop playing around with the yen. They’re almost as good as China.”

Trump has certainly made an impact with his aggressive approach throughout the course of the campaign. Overall, Trump’s rhetoric regarding trade and the United State’s relationship with China appears narrow, one-sided, and overly simplistic. Though one of his most rhetorical strategies throughout the campaign has been his ability to speak at a level his target audience is going to be able to understand and comprehend. Nevertheless, though he presents his audience with a rhetoric that appears to make sense, his explanations and justifications regarding China and trade policy are over-simplified and ‘stuck in a time warp,’ as defined by Washington Post.

Trump’s rhetoric created a symbolic world “in which the United States never wins at trade and is flooded by imports because China and Japan keep their currencies artificially low.” By describing the US in such terms, Trump is creating a rhetorical situation that allows the opportunity for his audiences to agree with his policies – because it makes perfect sense, right?

A Dramatic Shift

Presidential candidates pledge every four years that they want to do more to help American workers facing competition from around the globe. After these candidates take office, they have pursued more appeasing trade policies toward China, in order to keep a solid relationship with Beijing. However, during the 2016 election there has been expansive political distress over the loss of well-paid working class jobs to global competition. Additionally, China’s increasingly asser0428tradepactcolor-1265tive military posture, advise that the next president could actually follow through on pledges to reform trade with China. Trump has gained much attention because of his aggressive rhetorical style in regards trade with China. Nonetheless we must also pay attention to Clinton’s big switch on free trade this election and how that effects her rhetorical style.

The Flip Flop


In the link above, Hillary Clinton praised TPP as a deal that “sets the gold standard in trade agreements.” However, last fall, when the 12 participating nations announced they had finalized the agreement after years of negotiations, Clinton said she opposes it. Clinton began to criticize the agreements lack of a crackdown on currency manipulation and provisions to extend pharmaceutical drug companies’ patent protections in poorer countries. Later, in a speech given to 500 union workers and supporters she stated, images-1“I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages – including the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” she said. “I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election, and I’ll oppose it as president.” Although Clinton may be more politically savvy than Trump,  Clinton’s flip-flop of support cramps her rhetorical style because many Americans already view her as untrustworthy.

And Again…

The TPP agreement wasn’t the only free trade agreement that Clinton has changed her opinion on.  She spoke in favor of NAFTA when her husband signed it into law during his presidency, but called it a “mistake” during her 2008 presidential campaign.

In order for Clinton to sway voters to support her trade policies concerning China , she must dwell on the fact that she is the more “stable” candidate because her mixed history on free trade speaks to the idea that she is untrustworthy. Clinton must gain the trust of the voters, so they will feel more inclined to trust that she will actually implement any policies she plan to impose on China once elected into office, and not “flip” her opinion.

-Raven Rice

Cartoon links:


Hillary Clinton’s Future Trade Policy Brutally Summed Up By One Cartoon




Trumping Trade or Getting Trumped?

We’ve heard it once weve heard it a million times Trump is bringing jobs back from China. Yeah we get it Donald. You are going to make America great again. In order to make America great again we truly do need the jobs back in here in America just as almost anyone can agree, we need to stop importing our goods from China. We all watched just last week as Trump tore down not just one but both of the Clintons in the Debate as he called NAFTA “The single worst trade deal ever approved in this country.” His argument when referring to our loss of jobs to places such as China and other countries Trump called out Ford. He claimed that “thousands of jobs were leaving Michcigan and Ohio.”

Does anyone remember the question asked in class.. It was something along the lines of “Will the rhetorical style or substance of the candidates determine the winner of the debate?” I don’t know about you all but rhetorical style is something we all are susceptible to. Although here substance is extremely important we are human and inclined to follow who makes the situation look better and sound better. As Trump called out Ford they were quick to fire back on their Twitter and inform America that jobs had not been lost and as a matter of fact the U.S. Ford factories were planned to produce two new car designs this year. Unfortunately for Trump substance trumped rhetorical style in this area. Although it sounded like a good argument we quickly learned it had no truth. We agree that jobs need to come back from China and other countries but can we believe what Trump is saying if he doesn’t even know what is already taking place.


More importantly lets not forget the comment Trump made when referring to China. Trump accused China of “Devaluing their currency” in efforts to make more profit off trade. What Trump is accusing China of doing is something that hasn’t happened in 18 months and seems to be a dead issue for now. We need Trump to take his focus to the issues on trade which really have been of no benefit to our country and that are going to help put money back in America’s pocket. Criticizing NAFTA and the way China devalues their currency does nothing to show us how we are going to get our jobs back or how we are going to reduce trade with China and these other countries.

The “Rape” of a Nation

Arguably, one of the most captivating opinions Trump has proclaimed throughout his campaign is China’s ability to single-handedly destroy the American economy. Trump has made it very clear where he stands on trade deals such as NAFTA, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and all the businesses that have moved from the United States to China. Donald Trump hates these deals so much that he has vowed to “rip up international trade deals and begin an attack on Chinese economic practices.” The most compelling part of his thoughts on trade is how violently he talks about it. At a rally in Ohio, Trump compared the the Trans-Pacific Partnership to rape, stating that the deal was a “rape of our country.” At the Republican Presidential debate he refers to his forty-five percent tax on Chinese goods as a threat not a tax. Throughout his campaign we have seen him use brutal language to describe many of his policies and while some see it as his downfall, the majority of his supporters see it as a part of his persona to not follow the status quo. But will his rejection of political correctness help him or hurt him in the long run? Many believe his violent language regarding China will only spur more conflict and support the belief that he is not stable enough for the presidency. Donald Trump’s success is primarily based on his ability to say what other politicians will not, but there is a line that needs to be drawn. There is a time to be presidential and that time is now. He has riled up the conservatives with his violent rhetoric, but now is his time to appeal to the moderate voters. The best way he can do that is by appearing as presidential as he can be, which does not include associating trade deals to rape.


Jenna Hill

Rhetoric of Trade Policy (US / China)

“Never before have both main presidential candidates broken so completely with Washington orthodoxy on globalization, even as the White House refuses to give up. The problem, however, goes much deeper than trade deals.”

For the first time in 70 years, both of the 2016 Presidential candidates are rethinking free trade. With this digression from traditional American values and ideals, there is bound to be new rhetoric regarding trade, foreign policy, and China found between the two candidates. Clinton and Trump, both rooted in opposition against the preexisting situations with regarding foreign trade, are once again forced to be looked upon as ‘the lesser of two evils’ by us poor, confused, American voters.

The rhetoric that has been used thus far throughout the campaign has been focused on labeling China as a “currency manipulator that undervalues the renminbi to help its exporters win sales in overseas markets.”

More specifically, Trump is interested in getting ride of the Trans-Pacific-Partnership, a free-trade agreement between the US and a group of mostly Asian countries, while Clinton is saying that she opposes the agreement in its current form and would look to make strategic alterations.

An example of Trump’s harsh labeling and criminalization of China can be found in this quote from May, “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country — and that’s what they’re doing — it’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.”

Through this, Trump is explicitly adhering to two criminal acts – rape and theft – and associating them with China, in order to raise feelings of concern and fear among his audience.

In contrast to Trump’s aggressive approach when discussing China, Clinton more subtly denounces her previous endorsement of TPP and focuses more on having a profitable relationship with foreign nations. “We have to trade with the rest of the world. We are 5 percent of the world’s population. We have to trade with the other 95 percent. And trade has to be reciprocal. That’s the way the global economy works. But we have failed to provide the basic safety net support that American workers need in order to be able to compete and win in the global economy.”

Though she acknowledges that change is necessary, it does not help her case that she is known to be a previously positive endorser for the TPP agreement, even referring to it as “the gold standard” in her book.

Overall, the rhetoric used by the two candidates regarding foreign trade and China reinforces the already existing rhetorical structure that each candidate has developed during the campaign. Though both are advocating for a change in policy, Hillary is framing hers in such a way that alienates her from Trump – ultimately hoping that Trump’s harsh appeals will appear more unstable, allowing her to assume a more worldly, experienced, and presidential role.


Trade – the Double Edged Sword

Group: ViewsAsia Credit: PARESH Source: The Khaleej Times - Dubai, UAE Keywords: COLOR SOUTH CHINA SEA USA SHIP GREAT WALL 060215 Provider: CartoonArts International / The New York Times Syndicate
Group: ViewsAsia
Credit: PARESH
Source: The Khaleej Times – Dubai, UAE
Provider: CartoonArts International / The New York Times Syndicate

Who is to Blame?

In the recent 2016 presidential debate, trade has been one of the leading issues addressed. Specialist in Asian trade and finance,  Wayne Morrison states that, “China is currently the United States’ second-largest trading partner, its third-largest export market, and its biggest source of imports.” This has left the US in a sticky situation as Morrison adds , “Major areas of concern expressed by U.S. policymakers and stakeholders include China’s alleged widespread cyber economic espionage against U.S. firms; relatively poor record of intellectual property rights (IPR) enforcement; and mixed record on implementing its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations” Many say China’s shady dealings around policy has negatively impacted US trade and has caused large amounts of job loss. China is to blame.

It’s Unfair.

Donald Trump has been seen many times commenting on the ‘ill wills’ of China and thier operations around trade. Using a rhetorical specific and nontraditional style, Trump aggressively states how China is unfairly taking away from the United Sates to fill their own pockets. While taking a stand for the working class he is simultaneously providing hope for the future if he becomes president, by stoping China’s corruption and creating more jobs.



Achilles Heel

The United States is a powerhouse but trade would be our weak point. China has gone against the WTO and as trump says, they are ‘good at the game’. The solution is as Trump states, “We will keep the car industry in Michigan and we’re going to bring car companies back to Michigan.” Beating China at its own game is a way to stop our country from being taken advantage of. Creating more jobs, producing more products and weening ourselves off of China’s trade to become a more independent United States.

Made In China

For several decades, a post–World War II bipartisan consensus has held that reducing tariffs and other barriers to trade would promote prosperity in all trading countries. Thanks to the issue’s resonance in industrial battleground states and presidential candidate, Donald Trump, howling on the subject, trade and trade agreements such as the TPP and NAFTA have played an outsized role in this year’s US presidential politics.  Trump uses an aggressive style of rhetoric by making statements like “They do it to us,” to gain support for his potential implementation of harsh trade barriers with China. He also uses this style of rhetoric to expose any policy weakness in his opponent, Hillary Clinton.


Trade War

 With China, Trump says he would impose a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports. For example, if an American consumer goes out to buy a stove from China. Let’s say that the stove normally costs about $100. Under Trump’s trade policy, that stove from China would now cost 45 percent more, or $145. The thinking behind a such a harsh tariff is that the American consumer  would be more inclined to purchase the American-made stove selling for less. Trump believes this will stop China from “raping our country.”  Trumps use of the analogy should be named as an example of faulty rhetoric style in regards to his trade policy with China as a result of his previous remarks he made about Hillary Clinton that critics are calling sexist and for promoting the endorsement of boxer Mike Tyson, who was convicted of rape in Indiana.

 Trump Rally In Manchester, N.H.


Trump has long blamed broad trade agreements for harming U.S. workers. But the rally in Manchester, N.H. marked a rhetorical shift as Trump used his aggressive temperament to eject members of both parties who have supported trade deals as anti-American and in league with having “special interests.” For many Republicans in particular, the rhetoric amounts to an assault on core ideological beliefs of conservative economic policies that have been in place for years. Ultimately, Trumps aggressive rhetorical style has not been popular with those of his own party, but feuding with powerful business interests makes him an attractive candidate for many rebellious working-class voters, including some who have supported Democrats in the past.

Below is a link to the full speech: