Donald Trump like to be thought of as the master of the deal.
Trashing the TPP was only ever going to be a piece of campaign rhetoric. He is now walking back his position:
United States president-elect Donald Trump is raising hopes his campaign bark was worse than his anti-free trade bite.
Less inflammatory language on Trump’s new website have raised hopes his anti-free trade campaign rhetoric will not be translated into action, as leaders gather for the annual 12-nation Apec meeting in Lima, Peru.
Trump ramped up his opposition to the North American Free trade agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during his run-off for the Republican nomination, and during clashes with Democrat Hillary Clinton. He had also threatened to impose huge tariffs on Mexico, China and Japan.
But his new “greatagain.gov” website stresses fairness and putting the United States first in any trade deals, mentioning none by name.
“Free trade is good as long as it is fair trade. American workers are the best in the world.
“On a level playing field, we can compete, and win. Yet, too many American jobs have been lost over the last decade because of trade deals that do not put Americans first.
“Factories have closed and jobs have moved overseas because the government has imposed crushing regulations and taxes, while it negotiated trade deals that incentivised American companies to make things abroad, where environmental and labor protections are minimal and wages are low.
“The Trump Administration will reverse decades of policies that have pushed jobs out of our country. The new Administration will make it more desirable for companies to stay, create jobs here, pay taxes here, and rebuild our economy.
“Our workers and the communities that support them will thrive again, as more and more companies compete to set up manufacturing in the US, to hire our young people and give them hope and a real shot at prosperity again.
“America will become, once more, a destination for jobs, production and innovation and will once more show economic leadership in the world.”
I doubt that the US will close the doors on free trade. They might want to do some renegotiation, but that is good for us too, especially around Dairy.
Removing tariffs and other protectionism has benefited the third world greatly. It has also lifted millions out of real poverty. Trump won’t back out of a deal like that.