Trump: I 'didn't love' Reagan's stance on trade

Trump: I 'didn't love' Reagan's stance on trade
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLieu: There will be 'widespread civil unrest' if Trump fires Mueller Attorneys for Trump, Mueller hold face-to-face meeting to discuss potential interview topics: report Trump tariffs not helpful for nuclear talks, South Korea says MORE took shots at a GOP icon at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, telling a crowd of supporters that he differed from former President Reagan on trade policy.

At a campaign rally for congressional hopeful and GOP state lawmaker Rep. Rick Saccone (R), Trump said the former president, who many in the Republican Party espouse as one of the greatest modern conservative leaders, was "not great on the trade" issue.

"Ronald Reagan, you remember, I didn't love his — I thought he was great," Trump said. "I loved his style, his attitude. He was a great cheerleader for the country. But not great on the trade."

"For many, many years they have been outsmarted," Trump went on to say. "We used to be a nation of tariffs. When other countries would come to the United States, they had to pay for the privilege of taking our product, of taking our jobs."

"They had to pay. They wanted to come in and sell their product, they had to pay," Trump said. "Today, in China, they sell a car to us, they pay 2.5 percent. We sell a car in China — which, by the way, is almost impossible to do despite the tax — it's 25 percent." 


Trump also hit the former president on taxes, claiming that the $1.5 trillion tax cut his administration passed through Congress in December was bigger than any before in history, including during the Reagan administration.

"The tax bill was so massive, bigger than Reagan, biggest one done," Trump said. It is so big, he added, that "we are calling it tax reform" instead of a tax cut, he added.

"This is where a nonpolitician is good. For 40 years they couldn't pass anything. And I said how is it possible to not pass tax cuts?" 

Trump angered many Republicans in Washington this week when his administration officially implemented 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports, a move which many cautioned could spark a global trade war.

But in a series of tweets, the president doubled down on his message and claimed that the U.S. would come out on top if a trade war occurred.

“When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win,” Trump tweeted last Friday.