October 11, 2016
Until the last few minutes of last night’s debate, Donald Trump had been the only candidate to talk about trade policy during the debates. At the first presidential debate, [Hillary] Clinton studiously avoided the topic even as Trump used Clinton’s past support for NAFTA and her flip-flop on the TPP to blame her for all the economic troubles he thinks trade has caused. At the vice-presidential debate, neither Mike Pence nor Tim Kaine offered any substantive remarks about trade policy.
Most of the second presidential debate followed the same pattern. Trump continued to complain unchallenged that America is losing because of our trade deficit and that Clinton is responsible because of NAFTA and the TPP.
But then in the second to last question of the debate, Trump finally evoked a response from Clinton when he stumbled into some remarks about China and the U.S. steel industry during a longer diatribe about coal and environmental regulations:
We have to bring back our workers. You take a look at what’s happening to steel and the cost of steel and China dumping vast amounts steel all over the United States, which essentially is killing our steelworkers and steel companies.
Read the full article at the Cato Institute: Clinton Breaks Debate Silence on Trade to Call for Steel Protectionism