Trump hits the ground running as he takes the Oval office just two days after his inauguration. On Monday, January 23, 2017, President Trump made it clear that he is concerned about job stabilization in the U.S. by taking decisive action in regards to trade. One of his first orders of business was to sign an executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Although the TPP was pushed by the Obama administration, it was never ratified by Congress.
The TPP involved 11 Pacific Rim countries and is alleged as a secretive multinational trade agreement that would threaten to extend restrictive intellectual property (IP) laws across the globe and rewrite international rules to enforce it. As he was signing the order, President Trump said, “We’ve been talking about this or a long time.” He also believes that withdrawing from the agreement is a significant step for America toward manufacturing its own goods, and it’s good for American workers, as reported by Express.
Although withdrawing from the TPP will not have any immediate impact on U.S economic policies, it does send a clear signal to Democrats, and to foreign leaders around the world that the campaign rhetoric is beginning to take shape. Furthermore, CNN Politics reports that it offers a unique outlook on trade under the Trump administration. Perhaps he is running the Oval office with the same tenacity as he has successfully operated in the offices of Trump International for several years.
Trump was expected to meet with labor unions on Monday. During his election run, the president promised to pull out of the TPP and work to overhaul U.S. trade agreements. He also has his eye on renegotiating NAFTA, which was encouraged by former President Clinton and enacted in 1994.
The president blames NAFTA for destroying America’s manufacturing sector, despite the 258 percent increase in exports to Canada and Mexico, the largest export markets for the United States. NAFTA virtually eliminated all of the tariffs among the three nations of the U. S., Mexico, and Canada. It also allowed for the unrestricted flow of supplies and goods across borders. Today, over $1 billion in goods cross the Mexico-U.S. border every day.
During one of the debates before the election, President Trump said he would tear up NAFTA if he could not get a great deal. However, such a move may cause him to face a major challenge since according to NBC News over 30,000 U.S. auto jobs may be in jeopardy.
A recent study by the Center for Automotive Research revealed that wrecking NAFTA could eliminate the jobs gained in the auto industry since emerging from the Great Recession. Trump has threatened to charge a tariff as high as 35% on all goods brought in from Mexico. The high tariff may be the last resort if an end or modification to the agreement cannot be reached.
As President Trump takes his place in the Oval office, he is obviously ready to hit the ground running and assure his campaign promises begin to take shape. In many ways, the president has challenged the status quo, and it would appear that it is what Americans should look forward to and expect for at least the next four years.
By Jireh Gibson
NBCNEWS: Scrubbing NAFTA Could Cost More Than 30,000 U.S. Auto Jobs
CNN Politics: Trump signs order withdrawing from TPP, reinstate ‘Mexico City policy’ on abortion
Express: What is TPP? Why is Donald Trump pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Top and Featured image courtesy of PeteLinforth – Creative Commons License