Trump Says He Will Renegotiate or Withdraw from NAFTA
Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he will try to renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA.
The Hill reports:
If those other countries refuse the renegotiation, Trump said he would withdraw from the trade pact, which would cause tariffs on imports from those countries and exports from the United States to rise.
“I’m going to tell our NAFTA partners that I intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers,” Trump said during remarks at an aluminum facility in Monessen, Pa., near Pittsburgh.
“And I don’t mean just a little bit better, I mean a lot better,” he said.
“If they do not agree to a renegotiation, then I will submit notice under Article 2205 of the NAFTA agreement that America intends to withdraw from the deal.”
Trump’s remarks come on the eve of the start of the North American Leaders summit in Ottawa, Canada. U.S businesses leaders are calling on U.S., Mexican and Canadian leaders to tighten their economic ties in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee also said he would kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal negotiated by President Obama, which is the biggest trade deal since NAFTA.
The comments suggest Trump is going after blue-collar workers on the left and the right who are upset with free-trade policies as he seeks to make inroads against Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
Clinton’s rival in the Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), has also criticized NAFTA and the TPP, and some of Trump’s remarks seemed designed to appeal to Sanders supporters.
Clinton opposes the TPP but backed it as Obama’s secretary of State.
Trump also pounced another Sanders theme, Hillary Clinton’s support for China joining the World Trade Organization in 2001.
“It was also Bill Clinton who lobbied for China’s disastrous entry into the World Trade Organization, and Hillary Clinton who backed that terrible agreement,” Trump said.
“Then, as secretary of State, Hillary Clinton stood by idly while China cheated on its currency, added another trillion dollars to our trade deficits, and stole hundreds of billions of dollars in our intellectual property,” he said.
Trump speculated that China would find a “back door” to eventually join the TPP.
Trump argued that Clinton can’t be trusted to not back the TPP if she lands in the White House.
He said Clinton would make only small changes to the Asia-Pacific deal and “declare the TPP pact fixed, and ram it through and you will suffer.”
“That’s why Hillary is now only saying she has problems with TPP in its current form,” he said. “You know what that means — that means they’ll make a little two-word change, she’ll fix it and she’ll feel great.
“If the media doesn’t believe me,” Trump added, “I have a challenge for you and Hillary. Ask Hillary if she is willing to withdraw from the TPP her first day in office and unconditionally rule out its passage in any form.”
Trump called NAFTA, which was spearheaded through Congress by President Bill Clinton, “the worst trade deal in history.”
The Chamber of Commerce, which supports free-trade agreements, blasted Trump’s plans on trade in a series of tweets from its account.
— U.S. Chamber (@USChamber) June 28, 2016
— U.S. Chamber (@USChamber) June 28, 2016
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) also took to Twitter to slam Trump’s speech and promote the TPP.
Jay Timmons, NAM’s president, said, “Keeping manufacturers on the sidelines of trade is a plan for losing.”
Timmons said Trump should “understand 40 percent of manufacturing jobs are related to exports. We need more exports, not less.”
He also said that Trump “says we’re losing to China. But to win, WE need to write rules on trade — not China.”Earlier on Tuesday, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a Clinton supporter, said Trump is part of the problem and that he has made millions off businesses that manufacture overseas instead of employing American workers.“Donald Trump is a hypocrite about this, Donald Trump has made millions of dollars because of bad trade agreements,” Brown said during a media conference call arranged but the Clinton campaign.“He’s never put any effort into fixing these trade agreements or enforcing trade law,” he said.
He told the crowd that “it’s time to declare our economic independence once again” and “that means voting for Donald Trump. I’ll do it no doubt about it not even a little doubt.Photo credit: Raw Story.