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  August 12th, 2016 | Written by

Retailers: Clinton and Trump Both Wrong on International Trade

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  • National Retail Federation opposes anti-trade statements of Clinton and Trump.
  • Clinton and Trump both oppose TPP.
  • Trump said he would renegotiate NAFTA.

The National Retail Federation is not comfortable with either of the major presidential candidates to the extent they opposes trade.

So said the industry the group’s CEO Matthew Shay in an interview on the cable channel CNBC.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have struck a skeptical note on trade. They both oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Trump said he would renegotiate NAFTA.

“No longer will we enter into these massive deals,” said Trump at the Republicans’ Cleveland convention.

Clinton once supported the TPP but has since pivoted to opposition since she started her campaign for the presidency.

“If you believe that we should say no to unfair trade deals, that we should stand up to China, that we should support our steelworkers and autoworkers and homegrown manufacturers — join us,” Clinton said in her DNC acceptance speech.

“I think we are very troubled by the comments about trade,” said Shay. “The arguments against trade that we’ve heard from the two candidates make for great politics. They make for terrible economics.” The anti-trade message finds an audience in the U.S. rust belt which has lost large numbers of manufacturing jobs in recent decades.

“The negative consequences [of trade] are very visible on a very few vocal people,” said Shay, “and the benefits are broadly diffused across the economy, and it’s harder to quantify how we all benefit from trade.”