The Collected “Trade” Mentions in the Democratic Debates, 2019-2020

Todd Tucker
Mar 16 · 8 min read

What’s that? You want a thread with all the comments on trade policy from all the 2019–2020 Democratic presidential primary debates?

Here we go! (I’ve been collecting these over on Twitter.Com as they developed. See the thread here.)

June 26, 2019 debate: Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and Tim Ryan all cite Chinese economic competition as the number one or number two threat facing America. Ryan calls for industrial policy!

June 27, 2019 debate: Bennet, Yang, Buttigieg, and Hickenlooper weigh in on Trump’s tariffs and the China-US relationship.

July 30, 2019: Bullock, Sanders, Ryan sound off. (rev.com/blog/transcrip…)

July 30, cont: Warren and Delaney get into it about the TPP and Warren’s trade plans.

July 30, cont: Beto, Bernie, Hickenlooper, Warren weigh in with more.

July 30, cont: Warren and Hickenlooper spar on green industrial policy. And Ryan weighs in with more on industrial policy.

July 30, cont. More Ryan!

July 31, 2019: Booker, Gillibrand, and Harris foreshadow their no vote on USMCA months later (washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/…)

July 31, cont: Gabbard bashes investor-state dispute settlement, or #ISDS.

However, she voted to partly preserve the system in the USMCA (clerk.house.gov/evs/2019/roll7…)

July 31, cont: Biden and DeBlasio spar on the TPP and NAFTA

July 31, cont: Harris bashes trade policy by tweet.

Sept. 12, 2019: Trade is the first question, with Yang and Pete saying they’d consider leaving tariffs in place. (washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/…)

Sept. 12, cont: Klobuchar, Castro, and Warren

Sept. 12, cont: Harris makes a trade joke!

And it gets awkward!

Sept. 12, cont: Bernie and Biden spar over trade, and Booker weighs in.

Sept. 12, cont: and Castro addresses Chinese investments in Latin America.

Oct. 15, 2019: Beto address a potential trade quid pro quo, and Warren and Castro spar over whether trade or automation causes job loss (washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/…)

Oct. 15, cont: Gabbard, Booker, and Beto continue this line of argument on root causes of job loss.

Oct. 15, cont: Steyer bashes Trump’s negotiating prowess and Sanders bashes Biden.

Nov. 20, 2019 debate: The lightest yet on trade. Mayor Pete struggles to answer a trade question and (later in the debate) talks Chinese industrial policy (washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/…)

Nov. 20, cont: Yang talks IP as well, and Booker and Klobuchar weigh in.

Dec. 19, 2019 debate: Sanders and Klobuchar spar on the just-finalized USMCA, and Mayor Pete weighs in on China. (washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/…)

Dec. 19, cont: Steyer weighs in on China strategy.

Jan. 14, 2020 debate: Sanders discusses his USMCA opposition. (desmoinesregister.com/story/news/ele…)

Jan. 14 cont: Warren discusses why she supports USMCA

Jan. 14, cont: … and Sanders, Klobuchar, Pete, and Biden respond

Jan. 14, cont: and Bernie, Biden, and Warren mix it up.

Jan. 14, cont.: Steyer announces USMCA opposition on climate grounds, and Klobuchar discusses China.

Feb. 7, 2020 NH debate, trade mentions:

David Muir tries to frame Sanders’ USMCA no vote as diss on home state senators.

Feb. 7 cont.

Sanders pivots and centers climate. (rev.com/blog/transcrip…)

Feb. 7 cont.. Klobuchar defends the honor of NH senators

Feb. 7 cont: Warren and Steyer weigh in

Feb. 7 cont.: Klobuchar gets last word, with a shout out to Bretton Woods!

Feb. 19 Democratic debate: Very light on trade. It really only came up in the context of Klobuchar explaining why she didn’t know AMLO, and getting challenged by Pete. (nbcnews.com/politics/2020-…)

Feb. 19, cont: There was a little more trade talk by Bloomberg on his answer on China and climate issues, which was then picked up on a bit by Pete and Biden.

Feb. 25 Democratic debate trade mentions.

Bloomberg calls on China to follow WTO rules. (cbsnews.com/news/south-car…)

Feb. 25, cont: Biden calls for reassertion of trade sanctions against North Korea.

Feb. 25, cont: In crosstalk about filibuster and NRA, Bernie mentions Biden’s support for trade deals

March 15, Democratic debate mentions on trade. Pretty light. Bernie briefly mentions trade twice. (rev.com/blog/transcrip…)

Todd Tucker

Written by

I write about democracy, political economy, and trade. Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and Roosevelt Forward.

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