FORT DODGE: Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, said yesterday that he would kill off a Pacific trade pact being advanced by US president Joe Biden if he were to win the 2024 election and return to the White House.
Speaking to supporters in Iowa, Trump said he was against the regional trade deal being negotiated by the Biden administration with 13 other countries, arguing that it would hollow out US manufacturing and trigger job losses.
Talks on the trade sections of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which is aimed at offering the region an alternative to China’s growing trade clout, stumbled in recent days after some countries, including Vietnam and Indonesia, declined to commit to strong labour and environmental standards.
Trump, who withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal that had been forged with many of the same countries after taking office in January 2017, said he would “knock out” what he referred to as “TPP 2” immediately upon taking office.
“Under the next administration … the Biden plan for ‘TPP 2’ will be dead on Day 1,” Trump said at a campaign event in Fort Dodge, about 150km north of Des Moines.
“It’s worse than the first one, threatening to pulverise farmers and manufacturers with another massive globalist monstrosity designed to turbocharge outsourcing to Asia.”
The Biden administration had hoped to finish key chapters of its IPEF trade initiative in time for this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meeting.
It has vowed to continue negotiating the ambitious deal, but election-year pressures and resistance to tough commitments from some countries make a deal unlikely, trade experts and business groups say.