2016 Presidential Candidates on Asia

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Lead researchers: Alex Forster, Melissa Newcomb, and Sarah Wang.  Past contributors: Anna Scott Bell, Patrick Madaj, Meghana Nerurkar, and Nate Schlabach. For methodology, click here.

Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders Donald Trump

Additional Asia Pacific issues have also featured in this presidential campaign. To see quotes sorted by topic, please follow these links or click here.   

Allies in the Asia Pacific  Energy Exports Myanmar Elections South China Sea
China and Taiwan Human Rights and Democracy North Korea Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Climate Change Immigration from Asia Rebalance to Asia  Trade and Investment


Hillary Clinton (Democrat)


   Current Position: None
   Past Positions: Secretary of State (2009-2013), Senator – New York (2001-2009),          First Lady (1993-2001)
   Home State: New York
   New York and Asia Connections: click here
   New York and Japan Connections: click here
   New York and ASEAN Connections: click here
   New York and Asia News and Analysis: click here
Selected Experience and Asia Connections
  • Official Travel to Asia: 61 visits to the Asia Pacific while Secretary of State, 19 visits while First Lady
  • Oversaw the Obama administration’s “Rebalance to Asia” policy during tenure as Secretary of State 
  • As First Lady gave speech on human rights to the Fourth World Conference on women in Beijing
  • Committee Work: Former member of Senate Committee on Armed Services


Selected Campaign Resources on Asia

  National Security   Energy/Climate Change    Trade/ The TPP      Immigration from Asia               

Selected Quotes on Key Asia Issues

Allies in the Asia Pacific

"We had hundreds of thousands of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Our best allies and friends in Europe and Asia were really put out with us because of the way they'd been treated by the Bush administration and were very skeptical that the United States was a good ally any longer and wanted to lead the world toward peace, prosperity and security. I spent so much of my time getting back the confidence and the trust of our friends and allies around the world." [Source] Iowa Democratic Presidential Town Hall, January 25th, 2016

"[The Philippines] are a treaty ally. We have a mutual defense pact. The Philippines are helping themselves but they are also asking help from the United States, which I'm very pleased we are giving to [the Philippines]. So you can count on me to protect the interest in the South China Sea because it's important that these disputes be handled in a diplomatic and legal matter not by force or seizure." [Source] ABS-CBN News Interview, February 24th, 2016


“China’s rise is the story of the twenty-first century, how we handle that, how we respond to it will determine our future and the world’s future. I want to see a peaceful rise for China. I worked very hard on that as Secretary of State and I will continue to do so but we also have to be fully vigilant. China's military is growing very quickly, they're establishing military installations that again threaten countries we have treaties with, like the Philippines because they are building on contested property. They're also trying to hack into everything that doesn't move in America. Stealing commercial secrets…from defense contractors, stealing huge amounts of government information, all looking for an advantage.” [Source] New Hampshire campaign June 5, 2015

"The Chinese government, which weilds influence with the North Koreans, must be more assertive in deterring the North's irresponsible actions, and it should take actions to halt prohibited activities transpiring across its borders or its firms that participate in illicit trade or proliferation will have to face sanctions." [Source] Press statement, January 6, 2016

"True in Beijing in 1995, true today: Women's rights are human rights. This center should remain—I stand with Guo." [Source] In reference to the closing of a women’s legal aid center, January 31, 2016 

"[W]ith respect to China, one of the most challenging relationships we have, [Kissinger’s] opening up China and his ongoing relationships with the leaders of China is an incredibly useful relationship for the United States of America." [Source]  7th Democratic Debate, February 11, 2016

"[W]e have to stand up to Chinese abuses. Right now, Washington is considering Beijing’s request for “market economy” status. That sounds pretty obscure. But here’s the rub – if they get market economy status, it would defang our anti-dumping laws and let cheap products flood into our markets. So we should reply with only one word: No. With thousands of state-owned enterprises; massive subsidies for domestic industry; systematic, state-sponsored efforts to steal business secrets; and blatant refusal to play by the rules, China is far from a market economy. If China wants to be treated like a market economy, it needs to act like one.” [Source], Commentary in Portland Herald Press, February 23, 2016 

“Now recently the Chinese economy has stalled, while our economy keeps moving forward. It grew at the slowest rate in a quarter of a century last year. So in the coming months their behavior could get even worse, their abuses could be even more prominent and prevalent. They may try to solve their problems at home by further taking advantage of American workers and markets. So the next president has to understand the games Beijing plays and be prepared to stop them.”  [Source] Remarks at AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia, PA, April 6, 2016

“I’ve gone toe – to – toe with China’s top leaders on some of the toughest issues we face, from cyber-attacks to human rights to climate change to trade and more. I know how they operate and they know if I’m your president they are going to have to toe the line because we are going to once and for all get fair treatment or they’re not going to get access to our markets. When you know how somebody operates and you know they’re always trying to game the system and you know that they really don’t care about the rules of the road, you have to get tough and you have to be ready to really draw the line.  And I think we are at that point.” [Source] Remarks at AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia, PA, April 6, 2016

Rebalance to Asia

"The rebalancing to Asia, otherwise known as 'the pivot,' was in response to the very real sense of abandonment that Asian leaders expressed to me. And my phone calls to them before I ever went to the region in February of 2009, you know, they believed that because we were so focused in Afghanistan and we were so focused in Iraq, and obviously had to be given all that we had invested there, that we were just not paying attention to the developments in Asia. I think we’ve come some ways in trying to rebalance, but we have a long way to go, and there’s much at stake in how we deal with all the players in Asia." [Source] BrookingsSeptember 9, 2015 

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

“You know, take the trade deal [Trans-Pacific Partnership]. I did say, when I was secretary of state, three years ago, that I hoped it would be the gold standard. It was just finally negotiated last week, and in looking at it, it didn't meet my standards. My standards for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans. And I want to make sure that I can look into the eyes of any middle-class American and say, 'this will help raise your wages.' And I concluded I could not.” [Source] Democratic Debate, October 13, 2015

"I still believe in the goal of a strong and fair trade agreement in the Pacific as part of a broader strategy both at home and abroad, just as I did when I was secretary of state. I appreciate the hard work that President Obama and his team put into this process and recognize the strides they made. But the bar here is very high and, based on what I have seen, I don't believe this agreement has met it." [Source] PBS interview, October 7, 2015

“In my time, eight years in the Senate, I voted for some trade agreements and I voted against others. I think I have a pretty good idea of what we can do to meet the tests that I believe any trade agreement, especially TPP must meet. It needs to, number one, protect American workers, number two, it needs to raise wages and create good jobs at home, number three, it needs to be in our national security interests. I’ve been saying that for months. Now, here’s what I think should happen now. In order to get a deal that meets these high standards, the president should listen to, and work with, his allies in Congress, who have expressed their concerns about the impact that a weak agreement would have on our workers, to make sure we get the best, strongest deal possible and, if we don’t get it, there should be no deal.” [Source] Iowa campaign stop, June 15, 2015

"[W]e have to set a high bar for any new trade agreements, and only support them if they will create good jobs, raise wages and advance our national security. I opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership when it failed to meet those tests, and would oppose future agreements if they failed to meet that bar.”  [Source], Commentary in Portland Herald Press, February 23, 2016

“I voted against the only multinational trade agreement that came before me when I was in the Senate. It was called CAFTA. I came out against the TPP after it was finished. I thought it was reasonable to actually know what was in it before I opposed it. I oppose it.” [Source], 8th Democratic Debate, March 6th, 2016

"And when the Trans – Pacific Partnership was finally completed, and we could all see what was in it, I opposed it because I didn’t think I could look in the eyes of any American worker and say this deal will create more jobs and raise your wages.” [Source] Remarks at AFL-CIO Convention in Philadelphia, PA, April 6, 2016

For quotes on additional Key Asia Issues, click here

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Bernie Sanders (Democrat)


   Current Position: Senator – Vermont (2007-Present)
   Past Positions: U.S. House of Representatives – Vermont's At-Large District                      (1991-2006)
   Home State: Vermont
   Vermont and Asia Connections: click here
   Vermont and Japan Connections: click here
   Vermont and ASEAN Connections: click here
   Vermont and Asia News and Analysis: click here
Selected Experience and Asia Connections
  • Official Travel to Asia: Afghanistan (2011), Pakistan (2011)


Selected Campaign Resources on Asia

 National Security    Energy/Climate Change     Trade/The TPP     North Korea

Selected Quotes on Key Asia Issues

Allies in the Asia Pacific

 "In my view, we have to work with our partners – including regional organizations like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – to get countries in the region to find diplomatic solutions to their disputes. At the same time, we have to continue to reassure our allies in the region, including the Philippines that we are committed to work with them to prevent instability." [Source] Interview with Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 20, 2016 


"I want to see poor people around the world see their standard of living increase, but you talk about zero sum. A lot of people tell me the American worker's going to have to become poorer so we can help poor people in China. I don't believe that for a second. I want to see the people in China live in a democratic society with a higher standard of living. I want to see that, but I don't think that has to take place at the expense of the American worker. I don't think decent-paying jobs in this country have got to be lost as companies shut down here and move to China. I want to see the Chinese people do as well, but I do not want to see the collapse of the American middle class take place, and I will fight against that as hard as I can." [SourceVox Interview, July 28, 2015 

"We'll have to lean on China [...] China is North Korea's closest ally. They'll have to push North Korea to start adhering to international agreements. We have a relationship, China is equally concerned about what Korea is doing. North Korea is a paranoid nation. When you have a hydrogen bomb, if that's true, you are a threat to China, as well." [Source] Good Morning America Interview, January 6, 2016

“Let me respond to what the secretary said. We have a criminal justice system which is broken. Who in America is satisfied that we have more people in jail than any other country on Earth, including China? Disproportionately African American, and Latino. Who is satisfied that 51% of African American young people are either unemployed, or underemployed? Who is satisfied that millions of people have police records for possessing marijuana when the CEO's of Wall Street companies who destroyed our economy have no police records.” [Source] 4th Democratic Debate, January 17, 2016

“It is beyond my comprehension how we can elect a president of the United States, somebody like Trump, who believes that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.” [Source] 4th Democratic Debate, January 17, 2016

"You once had a pension. Those jobs, in many cases, are now gone. They’re off to China."  [Source7th Democratic Presidential Debate, February 11, 2016

"With China, the United States has to continue to work with our allies and partners in the region to maintain peace and prosperity. That means ensuring freedom of navigation in the South China Sea -- which is critical to global commerce. It also means preventing tensions having to do with overlapping maritime claims from spiraling out of control between China, which claims much of the South China Sea, and other countries with overlapping claims of their own." [Source] Interview with Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 20, 2016 

"Corporate America would shut down a plant in Pennsylvania tomorrow if they can move to China and make another five bucks."  [Source] MSNBC Town Hall, April 25, 2016    

Rebalance to Asia

No quote available as a candidate.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

"I am disappointed but not surprised by the decision to move forward on the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement that will hurt consumers and cost American jobs. Wall Street and other big corporations have won again. It is time for the rest of us to stop letting multi-national corporations rig the system to pad their profits at our expense. This agreement follows failed trade deals with Mexico, China and other low-wage countries that have cost millions of jobs and shuttered tens of thousands of factories across the United States. In the Senate, I will do all that I can to defeat this agreement. We need trade policies that benefit American workers and consumers, not just the CEOs of large multi-national corporations." [Source] Campaign Press Release, October 5, 2015

"Trade policy - I have understood from day one that our trade policies have cost us - NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, millions of decent-paying jobs.  I didn't have to think hard about opposing the Transpacific Partnership." [SourceIowa Democratic Presidential Town Hall, January 25, 2016

"Right now, I think they signed today the TPP in New Zealand. I think it is a continuation of bad trade policies. The president supports it, I strongly disagree with it". [Source] New Hampshire Democratic Town Hall, Feb. 3, 2016 

"I was not only in opposition to NAFTA, I was on the picket line in opposition to NAFTA because I understood […] I understood what the function of NAFTA, CAFTA, PNTR with China, and the TPP is, it’s to say to American workers, hey, you are now competing against people in Vietnam who make 56 cents an hour minimum wage." [Source] Democratic Presidential Debate, Feb. 4, 2016

“We have lost millions of decent paying jobs which have ravaged community after community after community all over this country. The average American who walks into a store now finds it harder and harder to purchase products made in America, and often the only alternative is made in China or someplace else. Now on that issue, I voted against NAFTA, against CAFTA, against permanent normal trade relations with China and I am helping to lead the opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” [Source] Press conference broadcast by MSNBC, February 22, 2016

“The reason that I was one of the first, not one of the last to be in opposition to the TPP is that American workers... should not be forced to compete against people in Vietnam today making a minimum wage of $0.65 an hour. Look, what we have got to do is tell corporate America that they cannot continue to shut down. We've lost 60,000 factories since 2001. They're going to start having to, if I'm president, invest in this country -- not in China, not in Mexico.” [Source] 8th Democratic Presidential Debate, March 6th, 2016

“I will not only continue to oppose trade agreements like the TPP, which asked us to compete against people in Vietnam, who make 65 cents an hour minimum wage, but what we’re gonna do is develop an entirely different process in terms of trade.” [Source] Ohio Democratic Town Hall, March 13, 2016 

“When I talk about disastrous trade agreements, and we have lost since 2001 almost 60,000 factories—can you imagine that? 60,000 factories, millions of good paying jobs, you go to a department store, you know what? It’s pretty hard to find a product manufactured in the United States of America, isn’t it? We gotta change that. By the way, when we talk about groups of people who have been hit, everybody’s been hit, African American communities have actually been hit the hardest.”  [Source] Ohio Democratic Town Hall, March 13, 2016

For quotes on additional Key Asia Issues, click here

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Donald Trump (Republican)


   Current Position: Chairman and President – The Trump Organization (1971-                  Present)
   Past Positions: None
   Home State: New York
   New York and Asia Connections: click here
   New York and Japan Connections: click here
   New York and ASEAN Connections: click here
   New York and Asia News and Analysis: click here
Selected Experience and Asia Connections
  • Official Travel to Asia: None
  • Owns property in the Philippines and South Korea; has ongoing projects in India


Selected Campaign Resources on Asia

   Trade/The TPP 

Selected Quotes on Key Asia Issues

Allies in the Asia Pacific

"So the young man from North Korea starts acting up and having one of his fits, we immediately get our ships going. We get our aircraft. We get nothing for this...I'm not saying that we’re going to let anything happen to them. But [South Korea has] to help us." [Source] Meet the Press, August 16, 2015

"I would want South Korea to pay us a lot of money [...] I just ordered 4,000 television sets, 4,000,  they come from South Korea, a money machine, they pay us peanuts. We're defending them and I have many friends from South Korea, they buy my apartments, I do business with them, but South Korea should pay us and pay us very substantially for protecting them." [Source] CNN Interview, January 6, 2015 

"We have 28,000 soldiers on the line in South Korea between the mad-man [Kim Jong-un] and them. We get practically nothing compared to the cost for this.” [Source] NBC Meet the Press interview, January 10, 2016

"If somebody attacks Japan, we have to immediately go and start World War III, okay? If we get attacked, Japan doesn't have to help us. Somehow, that doesn't sound so fair. Does that sound good?" [Source] C-SPAN coverage of campaign speech in Hilton Head, South Carolina, December 30, 2015 

“Japan, the same thing. They are devaluing -- it's so impossible for -- you look at Caterpillar Tractor and what's happening with Caterpillar and Kamatsu (ph). Kamatsu (ph) is a tractor company in Japan. Friends of mine are ordering Kamatsu (ph) tractors now because they've de-valued the yen to such an extent that you can't buy a Caterpillar tractor. And we're letting them get away with it and we can't let them get away with it.” [Source] 6th Republican Debate, January 14, 2016

“One thing I'd like to add to what the Governor [Kasich]'s saying, I think that we are now in a position -- are $19 trillion dollars because of the horrible omnibus budget that was approved six weeks ago, it's going to be $21 trillion dollars. We can no longer defend all of these countries, Japan, Germany, South Korea.” [Source] 10th Republican Debate, February 25, 2016

“Our military is depleted. But we take care of Germany, we take care of Saudi Arabia, we take care of Japan, we take care of South Korea. We take -- every time this maniac from North Korea does anything, we immediately send our ships. We get virtually nothing. We have 28,000 soldiers on the line, on the border between North and South Korea. We have so many places. Saudi Arabia was making a billion dollars a day, and we were getting virtually nothing to protect them. We are going to be in a different world.”  [Source] 12th Republican Debate, March 10, 2016

“You know, South Korea is very rich. Great industrial country. And yet we’re not reimbursed fairly for what we do. We’re constantly, you know, sending our ships, sending our planes, doing our war games, doing other. We’re reimbursed a fraction of what this is all costing.” [Source] The Washington Post, March 21, 2016

“Look. I have great relationships with South Korea. I have buildings in South Korea. But that’s a wealthy country. They make the ships, they make the televisions, they make the air conditioning. They make tremendous amounts of products. It’s a huge, it’s a massive industrial complex country.  And […] I think that we are not in the position that we used to be. I think we were a very powerful, very wealthy country. And we’re a poor country now. We’re a debtor nation. How you going to get rid – let me ask you – how are you going get rid of $21 trillion in debt? You’re going to be at 21 trillion in a matter of minutes because of that new omnibus budget. So they passed that ridiculous omnibus budget. How you going to get rid of that debt. We’re spending that to protect other countries. We’re not spending it on ourselves.” [Source] The Washington Post, March 21, 2016 

Yes, I would. I would not do so happily, but I would be willing to [withdraw US troops from Japan and South Korea]. Not happily. David actually asked me that question before, this morning before we sort of finalized out. The answer is not happily but the answer is yes. We cannot afford to be losing vast amounts of billions of dollars on all of this. We just can’t do it anymore. Now there was a time when we could have done it. When we started doing it. But we can’t do it anymore. And I have a feeling that they’d up the ante very much. I think they would, and if they wouldn’t I would really have to say yes.” [Source] The New York Times, March 26, 2016

“And if we say to Japan we need help, you have to help us, because we can’t continue to lose a fortune defending you—you have to be prepared to walk. You have to be prepared. That doesn’t mean I want them to arm, but it’s possible. You know, there’s a group of people that are very smart people, that say maybe it’s better for us if Japan pays their own way, they arm, and they take care of North Korea instead of us taking care of it.” [Source] Wisconsin Campaign Rally, April 2, 2016 



“China is a problem, both economically in what they're doing in the South China Sea, I mean, they are becoming a very, very major force. So, we have more than just Russia.” [Source] Republican debates, November 10, 2015

“I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower. I love China. People say, Oh, you don’t like China? No, I love them. But their leaders are much smarter than our leaders, and we can’t sustain ourself with that. There’s too much — it’s like — it’s like take the New England Patriots and Tom Brady and have them play your high school football team. That’s the difference between China’s leaders and our leaders.”  [Source] Campaign Announcement, June 16, 2015

"And China can come out and, frankly, they say that they don't have that much control over North Korea, they have control over North Korea, they [North Korea] wouldn't be able to eat. So China has to get invovled and China should solve that problem and we should put pressure on China to solve the problem [...] They can handle it so easily. Now they won't say that, you know, they say 'Well, they're [North Korea] not that easy, they're not that easy.' They're [China] taunting us, okay? They are playing games with us [...] China should solve that problem and if they don't solve that problem we should be very tough on them with trade, meaning start charging them tax or start cutting them off, you'd have China in a collapse in about two minutes. We have great power over China we just don't know how to use it." [Source] CNN Interview, January 6, 2016 

"In China, 2,000 years ago, they built the Great Wall of China which is bigger than any wall we are thinking about, okay? The Great Wall of China goes 18,000 miles. We have 2,000 miles, of which we only need 1,000 miles. So China has 18,000 or 13,000 miles and we have 1,000 miles. We have modern cranes, we have Caterpillar tractors which are the best, made in America!" [Source] Campaign speech at Hilton Head Island, December 30, 2015 

“The only power that we have with China is massive trade. I would tax China on products coming in. I would do a tariff, yes — and they do it to us. I would do a tax.  And the tax, let me tell you what the tax should be … the tax should be 45 percent.” [Source] New York Times, January 7, 2016

“They [North Korea] don’t live and they don’t breathe without China. China has a lot of power over North Korea, I’ve been saying this for a long time and China is playing us like a fiddle. China’s saying ‘Well, we don’t have that much power, we don’t have that much control,’ they [North Korea] wouldn’t get anything without China and China has the power and we have to tell China to straighten out the situation. I mean, you’ve got this madman playing around with the nukes and it has to end and China has to do it. Now, we have power over China because of trade, because they suck us dry, they take our money, they take our jobs, they take our everything, we lose hundreds of billions of dollars a year with China on trade. So, frankly if we ever stopped it [trade with China], believe me you’d see depression in China like you had never seen a depression before. So we have power over China our leaders just don’t know it. China has to solve the North Korea problem […] North Korea wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for China so we have to use China and ideally they do it without any threat, they should do it for their own well-being but if we have to use threat the threat with have is economic threat.” [Source] Fox News Interview, January 8, 2016 

“No, I said, " I would use -- " they were asking me what to do about North Korea. China, they don't like to tell us but they have total control -- just about, of North Korea. They can solve the problem of North Korea if they wanted to but they taunt us. They say, " well, we don't really have control." Without China, North Korea doesn't even eat. China is ripping us on trade. They're devaluing their currency and they're killing our companies. Thousands of thousands -- you look at the number of companies and the number in terms of manufacturing of plans that we've lost -- 50,000 because of China.” [Source] 6th Republican Debate, January 14, 2016

“We've lost anywhere between four and seven million jobs because of China. What I said then was, "we have very unfair trade with China. We're going to have a trade deficit of 505 billion dollars this year with China." A lot of that is because they devalue their currency. What I said to the New York Times, is that, "we have great power, economic power over China and if we wanted to use that and the amount -- where the 45 percent comes in, that would be the amount they saw their devaluations that we should get." That we should get. What I'm saying is this, I'm saying that we do it but if they don't start treating us fairly and stop devaluing and let their currency rise so that our companies can compete and we don't lose all of these millions of jobs that we're losing, I would certainly start taxing goods that come in from China. Who the hell has to lose 505 billion dollars a year?” [Source] 6th Republican Debate, January 14, 2016

“OK, just so you understand -- I know so much about trading about with China. Carl Icon today as you know endorsed. Many businessmen want to endorse me. Carl said, "no, no -- " but he's somebody -- these are the kind of people that we should use to negotiate and not the China people that we have who are political hacks who don't know what they're doing and we have problems like this. If these are the kinds of people -- we should use our best and our finest. Now, on that tariff -- here's what I'm saying, China -- they send their goods and we don't tax it -- they do whatever they want to do. They do whatever what they do, OK. When we do business with China, they tax us. You don't know it, they tax us. I have many friends that deal with China. They can't -- when they order the product and when they finally get the product it is taxed. If you looking at what happened with Boeing and if you look at what happened with so many companies that deal -- so we don't have an equal playing field. I'm saying, absolutely, we don't have to continue to lose 505 billion dollars as a trade deficit for the privilege of dealing with China. I'm a free trader. I believe in it but we have to be smart and we have to use smart people to negotiate. I have the largest bank in the world as a tenant of mine. I sell tens' of millions of (inaudible). I love China. I love the Chinese people but they laugh themselves, they can't believe how stupid the American leadership is. I'm totally open to a tariff. If they don't treat us fairly, hey, their whole trade is tariffed. You can't deal in China without tariffs. They do it to us, we don't it. It's not fair trade.” [Source] 6th Republican Debate, January 14, 2016

"China, this year in trade, will make more than $500 billion in terms of our trade deficit. $500 billion, this is no partnership.” [Source] Donald Trump Campaign Rally in Des Moines, Iowa, January 28th, 2016 

"I'm going to bring jobs back from China. I'm going to bring jobs back from Mexico and from Japan, where they're all -- every country throughout the world -- now Vietnam, that's the new one. They are taking our jobs. They are taking our wealth." [Source9th Republican Debate, February 13, 2016 

“Well look, we have power over China and people don’t realize it. We have trade power over China. I don’t think we are going to start World War III over what they did, it affects other countries certainly a lot more than it affects us. But—and honestly, you know part of—I always say we have to be unpredictable. We’re totally predictable.  And predictable is bad.” [SourceThe Washington Post, March 21, 2016

“China has got unbelievable ambitions. China feels very invincible. We have rebuilt China. They have drained so much money out of our country that they’ve rebuilt China. Without us, you wouldn’t see the airports and the roadways and the bridges; I mean, the George Washington Bridge is like, that’s like a trinket compared to the bridges that they’ve built in China.” [SourceThe Washington Post, March 21, 2016

“China is upset because of the way Donald Trump is talking about trade with China. They’re ripping us off folks, it’s time. I’m so happy they’re upset. They haven’t been upset with us for 30 years.” [Source] Campaign speech at Staten Island, NY , April 17, 2016 

"Fixing our relations with China is another important step — and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect."  [Source] Foreign Policy Speech, April 27, 2016

In reference to trade deficits: "We can't continue to allow China to rape our country, and that's what they're doing." [Source]  Campaign rally in Fort Wayne, Indiana, May 1, 2016

"Let me tell you something, China will behave and China will be our friend. We'll do better under China with me and we're also going to do better economically with me. They are going to respect our country again." [Source] Campaign rally with in New Jersey, May 19, 2016

Rebalance to Asia

No quote available as candidate.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

“The TPP is horrible deal. It is a deal that is going to lead to nothing but trouble. It's a deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone. It's 5,600 pages long, so complex that nobody's read it...But this is one of the worst trade deals. And I would, yes, rather not have it. With all of these countries, and all of the bad ones getting advantage and taking advantage of what the good ones would normally get, I'd rather make individual deals with individual countries. We will do much better. We lose a fortune on trade. The United States loses with everybody. We're losing now over $500 billion in terms of imbalance with China, $75 billion a year imbalance with Japan...I love trade. I'm a free trader, 100 percent. But we need smart people making the deals, and we don't have smart people making the deals." [Source] Republican Debate, November 10, 2015

“…The currency manipulation they don't discuss in the agreement, which is a disaster. If you look at the way China and India and almost everybody takes advantage of the United States -- China in particular, because they're so good. It's the number-one abuser of this country. And if you look at the way they take advantage, it's through currency manipulation. It's not even discussed in the almost 6,000-page agreement. It's not even discussed. And as you understand, I mean, you understand very well from the Wall Street Journal, currency manipulation is the single great weapon people have. They don't even discuss it in this agreement. So I say, it's a very bad deal, should not be approved. If it is approved, it will just be more bad trade deals, more loss of jobs for our country. We are losing jobs like nobody's ever lost jobs before. I want to bring jobs back into this country.” [Source] Republican Debate, November 10, 2015

"TPP is the biggest betrayal in a long line of betrayals where politicians have sold out U.S. workers." [Source] USA Today Column, March 14, 2016

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Methodology: Candidates included in this effort are those being tracked at the national level by the non-partisan RealClearPolitics poll tracker as of January 20th, 2016. Candidates who subsequently suspend or end their campaigns will be removed from this database. Quotes are limited to the period after each candidate officially declared their intention to run for president, unless indicated by an asterisk (*) after the date, in which case the quote derives from the time before an official declaration was made. These exceptions are being made because the quotes are deemed relevant and were issued while receiving coverage as a prospective candidate. In all cases, these additional quotes were made within the year prior to an official declaration.