Trump: Uncertainty and Upheaval in International Trade
President-elect Donald J. Trump, who campaigned on a platform to “negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America’s trade deficit” is poised to upend the international trade landscape, according to Bloomberg BNA’s 2017 outlook on international trade. The 20-page publication looks ahead to a year of tremendous potential upheaval and uncertainty for U.S. trade partners as well as current and prospective trade pacts. A complimentary copy of the outlook is available online.
“The incoming administration’s views on trade diverge significantly from those held by President Obama,” said Tom Taylor, News Director, Bloomberg BNA. “2017 will play an important role in shaping the trade agreements that will impact the United States for years to come.”
This year looks to be a tumultuous one for U.S.-China trade relations, coming off an election that saw President-elect Trump making serious overtures as to how he might drastically change the relationship. Among the issues to be resolved include China’s market economy status under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, President-elect Trump’s threat to brand China a currency manipulator, and lengthy negotiations over a U.S.-China bilateral investment treaty.
President-elect Trump has repeatedly criticized NAFTA and pledged to renegotiate or “terminate” it, calling the deal a “disaster.” However, aside from criticizing the offshoring of U.S. factories to Mexico and generally calling for strong trade enforcement, Trump hasn’t offered many details about the kind of improvements he desires. For their part, Mexican officials suggest that any changes made to NAFTA should address the new areas covered by the Trans-Pacific Partnership, such as telecommunications, intellectual property, and ecommerce.
On TPP, Supporters of the trade agreement are wondering what fundamental changes the Trump administration could seek to revive the pact it has vowed to kill. Supporters see potential changes that could allow President-elect Trump to embrace the agreement and call it his own. For now, major business supporters are laying low and waiting for an opportune time to ask the administration to make changes to the deal rather than jettison it.
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