A self-confessed ‘free trader’, one of his main international policies is to appoint “tough and smart trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers” as he feels that the US hasn’t gotten the best of existing and potential trade agreements.
Vocally unhappy about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico, he wants to renegotiate the deal and pledged that if the US doesn’t get a “better deal”, it will leave.
"We intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. If they don’t agree to a renegotiation, we will submit notice that the US intends to withdraw from the deal. Eliminate Mexico’s one-side backdoor tariff through the VAT and end sweatshops in Mexico that undercut US workers.”
As part of his ‘Seven-Point Plan To Rebuild the American Economy by Fighting for Free Trade’ Trump wants to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which has not yet been ratified by the US.
Trump has gone on record to criticise the TPP, claiming it was a “horrible deal” and believed that China would take advantage despite not being one of the TPP nations.
“The TPP is horrible deal. It is a deal that is going to lead to nothing but trouble. It’s a deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone. It’s 5,600 pages long, so complex that nobody’s read it. This is one of the worst trade deals. And I would, yes, rather not have it. We’re losing now over $500 billion in terms of imbalance with China, $75 billion a year imbalance with Japan.”
One area of contention for Trump has been what he feels is currency manipulation by China, something he wants to address during his presidency.
“Well, the currency manipulation they don’t discuss in the [TPP] agreement, which is a disaster. If you look at the way China in particular takes advantage of the US, it’s through currency manipulation. It’s not even discussed in the almost 6,000-page agreement.”
Trump has already been congratulated by British Prime Minister Theresa May who said that Britain and the US have an “enduring and special relationship” and that the two would remain “close partners on trade, security and defence”.
The President-elect also has the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin which could result in a stronger relationship between the US and Russia.