Presumptive Republican nominee has slammed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal inked between the U.S. and 11 other countries, as potentially catastrophic for the country. He likened the trade to sexual violence being inflicted on American workers (video below).
On June 28, Trump held a rally in St. Clairsville, Ohio. The business mogul, never a stranger to controversial rhetoric, repeatedly equated the TPP to rape during his speech.
"The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster, done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country," Trump said. "Just a continuing rape of our country. That’s what it is too."
To make it clear that he was aware of the severity of his comparison, the business mogul doubled down.
"It’s a harsh word," Trump admitted. "It’s a rape of our country. This is done by wealthy people that want to take advantage of us and that want to sign another partnership. So Hillary Clinton not so long ago said this is the gold standard of trade pacts."
Presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton did praise the TPP, which has yet to be ratified, while still serving as Secretary of State in 2012, The Washington Post noted. She has since distanced herself from the trade deal, saying that it has changed for the worse since her comments and that she will not support it in its current form.
Trump slammed Clinton’s stance on trade pacts, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), reminding his audience that she is "married to the man that signed NAFTA," ABC News reports.
Trump had outlined his economic policies earlier that day in Monessen, Pennsylvania. Delivering a speech at a scrap metal warehouse, the business mogul described what he would do to improve the U.S. economy, a wall of compacted garbage serving as his backdrop.
“On trade, on immigration, on foreign policy, we are going to put America first again,” Trump said, according to The Washington Post. “We are going to make America wealthy again.”
The presumptive GOP nominee said he would renegotiate NAFTA, have China labeled and sanctioned as a currency manipulator, and block the TPP from being implemented.
Trump’s protectionist stance on free trade, and his insistence on imposing tariffs, may put him at odds with GOP lawmakers, who have historically considered such policies anathema.
President Barack Obama has championed the TPP as a way for the U.S. to be a leader of trade in the Pacific, a vacuum he warns will be filled by China if the trade deal is not implemented.
On June 20, the president pitched the TPP during the SelectUSA Summit, The Washington Times reports.
“When we’ve gotten it done, the Trans-Pacific Partnership will do even more to lower the costs of exporting, eliminating taxes and custom duties and raising intellectual property standards that protect data and ideas and jobs,” Obama said.