"When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let's say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time, all the time," Trump said.
The now-candidate even addressed his financials during the speech.
(RELATED: The 2016 Republican Primary Will Be Impossible to Predict)
"I'm using my own money. I'm not using the lobbyists, I'm not using donors, I don't care. I'm really rich," said Trump, who later on in the speech disclosed his net worth of, he says, well over $8 billion. "By the way, I'm not even saying that to brag—that's [the] kind of mind-set, that's the kind of thinking, you need for this country."
But Trump's unelectability doesn't necessarily mean he won't have an impact on the GOP presidential primary cycle—in fact, there are a few ways in which he most certainly will.
How The Donald could affect 2016:
1. Trump could poll high enough to kick a more typical—if less famous—candidate off the Fox and CNN debate stages. Fox has said it will determine which members of the Republican field will make the top-tier debate cutoff by evaluating the last five national polls ahead of the main event. CNN is following a similar plan for their first debate; candidates who aren't polling as well as others will participate only in a bottom-tier contest. If by name recognition alone Trump is pushed to the top of the qualifying polls—he made the top 10 late last month in a couple polls—he could take the place of a contender who actually has political experience. Name recognition matters.
2. A Trump candidacy is great news for the news. Trump is always good for a sound bite: He's unabashedly confident, speaks with what's at most a very thin filter, and has very little to lose.
During his announcement Tuesday, in what appeared to be a joke, Trump connected his business success in the United States with the Islamic State.
"Islamic terrorism is eating up large portions of the Middle East," Trump said. "They've become rich. I'm in competition with them. They just built a hotel in Syria. Can you believe this? They built a hotel."
Trump's idiosyncrasies make for imminently readable (and well-trafficked) news stories, of which there have been many. (Check out how Trump's search interest compares with that of Newt Gingrich, who actually ran, during the 2012 cycle.) Trump's promises during his Tuesday speech alone could spawn dozens of stories and news clips. He said he will: "repeal and replace the Big Lie, Obamacare"; "build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall" ("nobody builds walls better than me"); and "find the General Patton or "¦ General MacArthur" in the U.S. military to fight the Islamic State.
3. In that way, he's able to throw the news cycle off track by vacuuming up airtime and making other candidates answer for him. If his fellow Republicans are forced to respond to his remarks (on, say, President Obama's place of birth—or Sen. Ted Cruz's), it'll be good news for headline-loving Trump, but an unwelcome distraction for his opponents.