The Trans-Pacific Partnership is President Obama’s No. 1 priority right now, though he didn’t mention it once in his big Democratic National Convention speech Wednesday night.
But Donald Trump is making known opposition to the TPP — and has directed his vice presidential running mate to run point on the contentious issue.
“Donald Trump has been in the position he’s been on these multinational trade deals for many years,” Mike Pence said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” Thursday.
“The thing that appeals to people about Donald Trump, the reason why I’m so incredibly honored to have the opportunity to run and serve with him as vice president of the United States, is because the man speaks his mind,” Pence said.
TPP seeks to bring Pacific nations closer together, lower tariffs, and block some of China’s regional influence. But critics say the pact will limit competition and give manufacturing jobs away to other nations.
Trade deals, Pence said, should be negotiated on a country-to-country basis for the best interest of the American people. The Indiana governor mentioned his discussions with Trump concerning the wisdom of multi-country trade agreements and how difficult they are to unwind when they fail — like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which drove manufacturing jobs to Mexico.
“It’s time to rethink NAFTA, or renegotiate NAFTA to make sure it’s working for the people of the United States,” Pence said. “And on TPP, let’s hit the brakes and lets deal with these Asian and Pacific Rim countries on an individual basis in a way that will promote growth.”
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton initially supported TPP during her role as secretary of state, but later reversed her stance, saying the deal didn’t support American jobs. Many say that if she’s elected, she’ll push the TPP through anyway. In contrast, Trump is strikingly clear on his devotion to making the best decision for the American people.
“You don’t have to wonder where Donald Trump is on an issue. And on this issue of putting American jobs first, on having taken a harder line on negotiating trade deals — that’s not a new position for him, that’s where he’s been all along. And I guarantee you, a Trump administration is going to roll our sleeves up, we’re going to look at these deals, and we’re going to make sure they work for the American people,” Pence said.
“We’re on the verge of electing one of the best negotiators in the world as president of the United States of America,” Pence said.