During an interview with 60 Minutes, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump was questioned about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), calling it a “disaster” and saying America needs “fair trade,” not “free trade.”
Trump told interviewer Scott Pelley that NAFTA is “a disaster” and the agreement shouldn’t exist.
Reports and studies have been in conflict for roughly a decade as to whether or not NAFTA caused millions of American jobs to be lost.
President Bill Clinton enacted NAFTA in 1994, but President Obama has criticized the deal, saying that roughly one million jobs have been lost because of it. FactCheck.Org disagreed with the premise that NAFTA has cost jobs, reporting: “Actually, nearly 25 million jobs have been gained. Nearly all economic studies say NAFTA’s net effect on jobs was negligible.”
Despite being critical of NAFTA, Obama has been negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a trade deal he planned to introduce to Congress in the Fall.
Trump has been critical of Obama’s trade deal.
Economic Policy Institute’s Robert E. Scott wrote in 2013 about the developing TPP and argued that historically, “no jobs” come from trade pacts.
“Claims that trade deals increase exports and create jobs are based on flawed trade models, and on distorted and one-sided interpretations of the findings of those models,” Scott explained.
“If you’re president, you’re going to have to live with it,” Pelley said to the billionaire businessman during the interview, referencing NAFTA.
Trump fired back: “Excuse me, we will either renegotiate it or we will break it. Because, you know, every agreement has an end.”
Pelley said Trump can’t just break the law.
“Excuse me, every agreement has an end. Every agreement has to be fair,” Trump reiterated. “Every agreement has a defraud clause. We’re being defrauded by all these countries.”
Pelley told Trump that “free trade” is the “plank” of the Republican Party.
“Scott, we need fair trade. Not free trade,” Trump clarified. “We need fair trade. It’s got to be fair.”