Donald Trump warns about debt and the impact of foreign trade on The Oprah Winfrey Show in April of 1988:
DONALD TRUMP: We're a debtor nation. Something is going to happen over the next number of years with this country because you can't keep on losing $200 billion (deficit at the time). And yet we let Japan come in and dump everything into our markets. It's not free trade. If you ever go to Japan right now and try to sell something, forget about it. Just forget about it. It's almost impossible. They don't have laws against it, they just make it impossible.
They come over here, they sell their cars, their VCRs, they knock the hell out of our companies. And, hey, I have tremendous respect for the Japanese people. I mean, you can respect somebody that's beating the hell out of you, but they are beating the hell out of this country. Kuwait, they live like kings -- the poorest person in Kuwait, they live like kings -- and yet, they're not paying. We make it possible for them to sell their oil. Why aren't they paying us 25 percent of what they're making? It's a joke.
OPRAH: This sounds like political, presidential talk to me and I know people talk to you about whether or not you're going to run. Would you ever?
TRUMP: Probably not. But I do get tired of seeing the country get ripped off.