Former President Donald Trump said he would scrap a pacific trade deal currently being advanced by the Biden administration if he wins the 2024 election, describing the deal as “disastrous” for the United States.
President Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, told his supporters in Iowa that President Joe Biden’s regional trade deal could impact U.S. manufacturing and trigger job losses.
“It was just reported that the Biden administration has been secretly plotting to resurrect one of the all-time worst sellouts and deals ever made by our country … the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership,” he said.
This came as the Biden administration continued negotiation for its Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) with 13 other countries, which aims to offer the region an alternative to China’s growing trade clout.
Countries participating in IPEF are Australia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States.
President 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.
“It’s worse than the first one, threatening to pulverize farmers and manufacturers with another massive globalist monstrosity designed to turbocharge outsourcing to Asia,” President Trump told his supporters.
“Under our next administration, Biden’s plan for TPP 2 will be dead on Day One,” he added. President Trump said the deal could particularly affect U.S. car manufacturing.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said on Nov. 16 that it was seeing progress in trade facilitation, inclusivity, technical assistance, economic cooperation, and agriculture following a meeting in San Francisco.
The White House also issued a fact sheet stating that IPEF members have negotiated agreements on supply chain, clean economy, and fair economy.
They also agreed to establish a ministerial-level IPEF Council that will meet annually, starting in 2024, and leaders’ meetings every two years to make progress.
“Our ongoing cooperation through these agreements will promote workers’ rights, increase our capacity to prevent and respond to supply chain disruptions, strengthen our collaboration on the transition to clean economies, and combat corruption and improve the efficiency of tax administration,” the leaders said in a joint statement.
Big Tech Monopolies
The IPEF was launched by President Biden in May 2022. Bearing many similarities to the now-defunct TPP—a controversial trade agreement supported by figures as diverse as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.)—13 nations in the Indo-Pacific region have signed onto the IPEF economic initiative.
Unlike other trade deals, the IPEF isn’t concerned with altering tariff rates for member nations but is considered a precursor to that goal. The Biden administration also hopes to establish a set of competition policies for member nations.
This goal, according to a coalition of congressional Republicans, would not only trample over congressional authority—it could also further strengthen Big Tech firms, which already hold a monopoly over many online tools and platforms.
President Biden has proposed “whole-of-government” policies to support competition. Democrats say that Big Tech efforts to influence the policies in the IPEF could challenge that.
In a letter to relevant U.S. officials in May, Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), joined by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) along with Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), condemned the IPEF as overstepping the president’s authority.
“Congress, not the President, has the constitutional prerogative to craft domestic policy in the antitrust space,” the lawmakers wrote, citing ongoing legislative efforts to do just that.
Joseph Lord and Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times