Trump spoke of the need for a new economic model, and then recalled how protectionism is far from a bad word in US history; rather, it was seen as a means to promote manufacturing and build industry.
Trump said, “Like Henry Clay, we want to put our own people to work. […] “Clay was a fierce advocate for American manufacturing. He said that free trade would throw wide open our ports to foreign production without duties while theirs remained closed to us […] Clay said that trade must be fair, equal and reciprocal.”
Trump then went on to use the term “American System”, associated with the current of economic nationalism promoted by figures such as Alexander Hamilton, Clay and Henry Carey, champions of investment in industry and infrastructure, and protection against the free market claims of European empires, which sought to undermine American economic independence in order to defend their own pre-eminence.
“In explaining his American System, Clay argued that the sole object of the tariff is to tax the produce of foreign industry with a view of promoting American industry,” Trump said. “For too long our government has abandoned the American System.”...Consortium News
Roots of Trump’s ‘Economic Nationalism’