Donald Trump took another step toward blowing up the TPP in his speech accepting the Republican Party nomination on Thursday, declaring the United States will no longer join big trade agreements and concentrate instead on enforcing and renegotiating existing trade pacts.
[Doug Palmer| July 22, 2016 |Politico]
“No longer will we enter into these massive transactions, with many countries,” Trump told the crowd, setting down a marker that also raises doubt about the future of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, although he did not mention the proposed pact with the European Union by name. “We are going to enforce all trade violations against any country that cheats.”
“Our horrible trade agreements with China and many others will be totally renegotiated,” Trump continued, apparently referring to the 1999 deal that paved the way for China to join the WTO since the United States does not have an individual trade deal with the Asian heavyweight. “That includes renegotiating NAFTA to get a much better deal for America – and we’ll walk away if we don’t get that kind of a deal. Our country is going to start building and making things again.”
“I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers , or that diminishes our freedom and independence,” Trump said in the speech, which also attacked his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, for past support of trade deals. “We will never, ever sign bad trade deals. America first again. … Instead, I will make individual deals with individual countries.”
He also made a play for Bernie Sanders supporters, predicting they will join his movement “because we will fix his biggest issue: trade.”