On Thursday’s broadcast of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump talked about the biggest points of his economic policy during the first 100 days.
Relevant Transcript as Follows:
TRUMP: I have to say it, and I think it will be tremendous for our country, is we have to renegotiate our trade agreements. Our trade agreements are disastrous. And we didn’t use our breast — our best and our finest. We didn’t use the people that are on your show. We used people that are political hacks to make deals with China, to make deals with Japan, to make deals with Mexico, to make deals with these massive countries that — you know, where frankly, when you discuss business transactions, they’re very small by comparison to what you’re talking about with trade agreements. And we don’t use our finest. We don’t use our brightest businesspeople to help us make these deals. And I want to renegotiate trade agreements. And I think the trade agreements are a disaster for this country.
JOE KERNEN: Would you — you mentioned you’d immediately roll back some of the executive orders on immigration. What other executive orders would you roll back? There’s been some — NLRB, the EPA, the I mean — take your pick. …
TRUMP: Well one of the things we want to do, Joe, is get rid of regulations. And we have regulations that are — and you know, it’s interesting, more and more I hear it when I am out making speeches and have these massive crowds, as you probably noticed, 25,000 people, and sometimes at the end I’ll be signing autographs and meeting so many people, thousands and thousands of people, and the businesspeople, people that are even inclined toward business, they talk about regulation more than they talk about taxes. Now, you know, one of the things we’re going to be doing is lowering taxes very substantially. We’re lowering the business tax. We’re lowering the tax on individuals. You know, we’re the highest taxed nation in the world, and we’re going to be lowering taxes. But Joe, more than even taxes, they talked about regulations. And it is, it’s terrible. I mean, I know from my businesses it’s terrible, but these people are affected even more than I am. And it’s incredible, when I listen to the stories, where people can’t even open up small businesses. They have to go through all sorts of rules, regulations, 90 percent of which have no bearing on what they do. So I think from the standpoint of your show, and the people that watch your show, we’re lowering taxes very substantially, and we’re going to be getting rid of a tremendous amount of regulations. And also having to do with energy, it’s so difficult for our country. I mean, it’s so, so difficult. I believe in solar, and I believe in all of the new forms that we’re coming up with. I use solar. But it’s about a 30-year payback, Joe. That’s not exactly something that people are going to be rushing out to buy, and they don’t have it perfected, and the strength isn’t there yet. And — but we’re going to be opening up energy. We’re going to get the miners back to work. We’re going to be doing a lot of things, Joe, to spur the economy.
KERNEN: Bob Doll has a question for you, Mr. Trump.
TRUMP: Hi, Bob.
DOLL: Hi, Mr. Trump. You know — allowing you to put an exclamation point on all of that. Seems to me that part of our problem is we’re just not growing fast enough and we would solve a lot of problems if we could grow faster. Jobs, income inequality, et cetera…
DOLL: Do you think regulatory reform can give us kind of a half a point of growth and maybe some smart tax reform another half, and we’d find ourselves growing 2.5 to 3 instead of 1.5 to 2?
TRUMP: Well, I do. And you know, we — basically, GDP was essentially zero, okay? And it’s been that way. It’s been very, very low for years now. And if China ever had that, they’d go into a massive depression, all right? China, where they go down to 7 percent, and I watch your show all the time, and I’m seeing 7 percent, and it’s like everyone is going crazy, how could this be possible? And other countries the same thing. And here we have almost zero, slightly more than zero, but basically, I’m sure — it could even be less, you know, because how are they coming up with these numbers, you know, these massive numbers, how are they doing it? So we have no growth. I think absolutely, Dodd-Frank has to be either eliminated or changed greatly. I will tell you, I have so many friends who are very good businesspeople, and it’s impossible for them to do business with the banks. The regulators are running the banks.
And you know, you’ll have bankers that get big salaries, and that are very capable and all of that. But they’re not running the banks. The regulators are running the banks. You know that, Bob. And it’s very, very tough for people to borrow money. And, you know, they’re petrified of making a loan to a really good businessperson who’s going to pay it back, but there’s that chance that maybe the loan won’t be good someday, and therefore, they don’t get the money. And I have so many people calling me, can I help them with a bank. The banks are, you know — and I’m not even blaming the bankers. I’m blaming the fact that the regulations — that the regulatory climate is so bad that the banks just aren’t loaning to businesses. And that’s one of the reasons you have GDP there. It’s one of the reasons we have no growth.
KERNEN: All right. Mr. Trump, on the tax front, given that you’ve championed the middle class in so many of your speeches. Of course, one of the critiques of the tax plan is that 40 percent, or about 40 percent of the tax cuts end up going to the top one percent under the current plan, at least as I understand it. How do you square that?
TRUMP: Joe, you know, I — and I will say this.
TRUMP: I will say this. And I’m not necessarily a huge fan of that. I’m so much more into the middle class, who have just been absolutely forgotten in our country.