President Donald Trump is gearing up to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the White House announced on Jan. 20.
"For too long, Americans have been forced to accept trade deals that put the interests of insiders and the Washington elite over the hard-working men and women of this country," said the brand-new White House "issues" webpage called "Trade Deals Working For All Americans." "As a result, blue-collar towns and cities have watched their factories close and good-paying jobs move overseas, while Americans face a mounting trade deficit and a devastated manufacturing base."
Trump intends to end the TPP outright, while NAFTA will meet a similar end if the president is not able negotiate terms that are more agreeable to him, the White House said.
"With a lifetime of negotiating experience, the President understands how critical it is to put American workers and businesses first when it comes to trade," explained the release. "With tough and fair agreements, international trade can be used to grow our economy, return millions of jobs to America's shores and revitalize our nation's suffering communities."
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Meanwhile, Trump will see to it that the U.S. comes down hard on countries that either violate trade agreements or cause trouble for American workers.
"The President will direct the Commerce Secretary to identify all trade violations and to use every tool at the federal government's disposal to end these abuses," added the release.
Trump's proposals to change international trade agreements have won over the support of some but have drawn the ire of many others, particularly those in the automotive industry, which has released data showing that withdrawing from NAFTA will end up costing the U.S. tens of thousands of jobs, notes Automotive News. Indeed, one study from the nonprofit Center for Automotive Research found that pulling out of NAFTA would jeopardize 31,000 automotive jobs in America and would also cause vehicle prices to shoot up.
But Trump is not backing down.
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"By fighting for fair but tough trade deals, we can bring jobs back to America’s shores, increase wages, and support U.S. manufacturing," the White House release added.