Warren releases 'Trump-like' trade plan with left-wing bent

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is hoping to clinch the Democratic Party nomination in 2020, released her plan on Monday to reform U.S. trade policies – concentrating on some key themes President Trump has hammered home.

As she prepares to stump in Ohio, Warren detailed a plan that aims to protect American workers by renegotiating trade pacts, fighting for American farmers and preventing companies from outsourcing jobs overseas – similar to the rhetoric that was used by the current president throughout his campaign.

“It’s sort of Trump-like but from a left-wing perspective,” Simon Lester, associate director of Cato's Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, told FOX Business. “[They are] certainly two of the more similar trade policy approaches that we see out there.”

Warren even said trade pacts should protect “Buy American and other programs.”

“Trade is good when it helps American workers and families,” Warren wrote in her blog post. “We need to completely transform our approach to trade. America enters into trade negotiations with enormous leverage because America is the world’s most attractive market.”

Unlike Trump, Warren criticizes big business and corporate greed – a common theme throughout her campaign – for having too much influence over trade policy.

The Massachusetts senator acknowledged that tariffs are a useful tool – but she condemned the current administration for using them as a “long-term solution.” Trump has, however, said he uses tariffs as a negotiating tactic.

Lester noted that Warren’s vision of tariffs may not involve Section 232, like many of Trump’s.

Warren’s take on the negotiating process is unique – she compiled a list of criteria countries would need to meet in order to enter into pacts with the U.S. She also wants to make negotiations open to the public and offer a comment period – creating what Lester called “procedural and substantive burdens” that would make it hard to actually strike any deals.

“On balance, maybe it gets us to the same place,” Lester said. “We don’t have any trade deals but we have protectionism.”


The criteria are intended to hold countries to a higher standard where both environmental protections and labor rights are concerned.

Warren is set to participate in the second round of Democratic debates in Detroit on Tuesday.