In a bid to boost his standing in China, President Donald Trump has proposed selling off America’s global trade policy to foreign oligarchs, according to a leaked draft of his Asia trade policy.
“I have a proposal for the world that is much more comprehensive, much more fair and much more equitable than any other proposal that I have ever seen in terms of terms of the level of protection that we have for our economy,” Trump told an audience of Chinese business leaders last month.
“And I think we’re going to see that.”
The proposed US trade policy would see all foreign firms forced to pay US taxes on all profits they make in the country, with China, Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries the only ones exempted from this rule.
“We’re going get them to pay,” Trump said.
“The other way to do it is for us to have a tariff on every company in the world.”
“We are going to have some very bad companies that have made so much money but are so small that they’re not able to get their taxes paid on that,” Trump added.
“But they’re going have to pay a tax, and I want to make sure that we get them, so they can have the opportunity to make money.”
The draft policy, which is due to be presented to the president in Washington, DC, on Thursday, outlines what it would look like if the US were to impose a “fair trade” tariff on China and other countries that have not yet been subjected to US-imposed tariffs.
The proposal, which was first reported by the Financial Times, is part of Trump’s ambitious trade agenda that includes renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada, as well as renegotiating bilateral trade deals with South Korea, Japan and South Korea.
It is also the first time the president has offered a policy in the post-9/11 era that would directly affect American businesses.
“This is going to be a very big step forward in our economy and our nation,” Trump boasted to a group of business leaders on November 15, adding that the US would “have the greatest economic power in the history of the world”.
The draft trade policy, titled “Investor-Friendly Trade Policy: An Investment in America”, was drafted by a group led by New York’s hedge fund manager James A. Loeb Jr, who was previously Trump’s chief economic adviser.
Trump has previously suggested he wants to “invest” in American companies, including by privatising US industries.
“When we have the right partners, the right technology, we’re really going to get the right product, and we’re gonna have a lot of jobs, and they’re gonna be very, very good jobs,” Trump has said.
Loebs proposal is “much more comprehensive than any of the other proposals I’ve seen, frankly,” said Jeffrey Berenson, managing director at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
“It would be a huge improvement over the current system of protectionist protectionism.”
Trump, who is also planning to announce on Thursday that the United States is going ahead with a major infrastructure program, has also proposed a plan to renegotiate the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The proposed changes are expected to be released soon.
“Trump is not just the president of the United, he’s also the president who created the most powerful trading bloc in the modern world,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.
“He’s going to make his case to the world in Washington DC in the coming days.”
A spokesperson for the president did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the leaked draft policy.
Trump’s proposed trade policy has been widely condemned as a threat to the interests of the American people, which has led to calls for a boycott of US products and the suspension of US imports.
“A Trump trade agenda would send a clear message to global trade that the American economy and its workers are at the top of the list for protectionism, while China and Japan have already benefited from Trump’s protectionist measures,” said Daniel Hopsicker, an economics professor at University of Notre Dame.
“For the sake of American workers, and for the sake, ultimately, of the economy, this would be the last time we’re buying American goods.”
The US trade deficit with China is at a record $65.2 billion, with US companies accounting for the majority of the nation’s imports.
China has also been one of the main beneficiaries of Trump trade policies.
The US has lost a total of $5.7 trillion since President Donald Trumps first term in office in January 2017, and it has lost $1.4 trillion in manufacturing jobs since then, according the Center for American Progress.