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Internal Trump Memo Reveals Trade Policies As Top Priority

| by Oren Peleg

A recently revealed internal memo from President-elect Donald Trump's team signals that U.S. trade policy will be a top priority from the administration from day one. The memo targets the North American Free Trade Agreement as a trade agreement to dismantle, a frequent promise by Trump during his campaign.

Trump will be sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2017. From there, the memo outlines the first 200 days of Trump’s presidency, reports CNN.

"The Trump trade plan breaks with the globalist wings of both the Republican and Democratic parties," the memo states. "The Trump administration will reverse decades of conciliatory trade policy. New trade agreements will be negotiated that provide for the interests of US workers and companies first."

The memo outlines five key points that the Trump administration is considering.

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Point one is to withdraw from NAFTA. Two is ending the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. Third, is ending “unfair imports.” Fourth, ending “unfair trade practices.” And fifth is to pursue bilateral trade deals. The memo ends with the push to "retain and return manufacturing jobs" by lowering business taxes and undoing regulations on business and energy.

Trump pledged to withdraw from TPP in June, reports The Atlantic. “Not only will the TPP undermine our economy, but it will undermine our independence,” Trump said at the time.

“The administration is working to address members’ concerns about TPP, but it has not completed the work, and significant concerns remain on both sides of the aisle,” said Rep. Kevin Brady, a Republican from Texas who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, reports Morning Consult. “As a result, this important agreement is not ready to be considered during the lame duck and will remain on hold until President Trump decides the path forward.”

But U.S. allies abroad remain skeptical of new Trump trade policies.

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“[The] political landscape in the U.S. at the moment is not very promising for its ratification,” Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbill said of TPP.

“[Trump’s] argument, when you think about it, hasn’t been that trade is bad,” New Zealand Prime Minister John Key added. “He just keeps saying, ‘This is a horrible deal. This is a horrible deal.’ Well, let’s just see their capacity to negotiate a better deal, I suppose.”

Sources: CNN, The Atlantic, Morning Consult / Photo credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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