Real estate magnate and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump minced no words in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News in which he dissected just how much of a “disaster” the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill that would fast-track President Barack Obama’s secret Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is for America.
“I deal with foreign companies all the time. I do a lot of business with foreign companies and do well with foreign companies,” Trump said.
The trade deal is a disaster for many reasons. Number one, we don’t have any good negotiators in our government. That’s possibly the single greatest reason—we don’t have our best and our brightest negotiating for us. That’s a real problem. Number two, and very, very importantly, it doesn’t take into consideration the currency manipulation because we get beaten in trade more by currency manipulation than any single other factor. So it’s not even discussed in the trade deal.
They’re not addressing the number one cause of the unfairness which is the currency manipulation. China manipulates their currency so brilliantly and it’s very, very hard to compete. The other thing they do and they do it despite agreements is they make it impossible to sell product in their countries even after they sign an agreement so we need much stronger penalties if they continue to do that.
Trump also said that trade deals shouldn’t have multiple different countries in them. If the U.S. is going to do trade deals, they need to be specific to each other country so America doesn’t get taken advantage of.
“And then the next point, this should not cover global, vast areas because in those vast areas you have good countries and you have bad countries,” Trump said.
You have people that treat us modestly fairly—nobody treats us well, because we’re considered an easy target, we’re considered soft and stupid—so nobody treats us well, but some treat us better than others. Some are major abusers like China—they abuse us because their negotiators are so much smarter than ours, but you have some countries that are better to us than others.
And by doing a global, by doing these vast areas as opposed to individual countries, our trade agreements should be with individual countries. This way it can be tailored to that individual country if you understand what I mean. But the other way what happens is if we’re being nice because some country is treating us well and we have numerous nations in the deal, the countries that are not treating us well take advantage of that. It’s called favored nations.
The country that’s not treating us well takes advantage of things that you give because other countries want it. What happens is all of these countries get the best of everything and we get the worst of everything. We should do this deal—we should a deal tailored to each individual country as opposed to a large deal with individual countries in them.”
Trump noted that the new trade deficit numbers—the deficit was the biggest in six years at $51.4 billion in March, just announced this week—are another sign the United States is getting raked over the coals on an international level.
“The numbers just came out—our deficit was the biggest we’ve had in years,” Trump said. “The numbers that came out this week. It’s far bigger than it’s been in years. The reason is because the trade is so one-sided. And another reason I would like to see it stopped is because if I run and I win, I would like to negotiate trade deals that are great for the United States—not terrible, like the one we’re negotiating now.”
While President Obama is the main proponent of the deal, many congressional Democrats are opposed—and the only reason it’s even being considered is because Republican leadership in Congress, specifically Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, are pushing it.
Trump said the Republicans are pushing the deal because “they don’t understand” the topic and “they’re making a mistake.”
“It’s because you have lobbyists lobbying for this thing, and you have lobbyists representing areas of industry, you have lobbyists representing countries,” Trump said.
The only way you could want to have this is because you have people pushing them. On it’s face it’s no good. You have plenty of Republicans against it and you have plenty of Democrats against it. You have Democrats and Republicans—and this thing might not pass. It’s a horrible deal for the United States and it should not pass. It doesn’t cover currency manipulation. If you don’t have currency manipulation as part of this transaction, you’re wasting your time because that’s the single easiest way these foreign countries take advantage of the United States.
In fact, only two Senate Republicans admit to having read the TPP deal TPA votes next week would set up. In addition to those two—Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who are not in favor of the deal—a spokesman for Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said he is reading it on Friday. Lee and Lankford are both undecided and Sessions is against it as it stands.
Americans for Limited Government president Rick Manning, one of the biggest opponents of the TPA and TPP trade deal composite, said that revelation by Breitbart News on Thursday evening is “eye opening and disheartening.”
“The same political party that ridiculed former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s ‘you have to pass it to find out what’s in it’ Obamacare statement is now ignorantly plunging ahead with legislation that will expedite passage of a treaty that the president calls the “most progressive trade deal” in history,” Manning said in a Friday statement.
These “read the bill” Republicans apparently would prefer to remain clueless. This failure to do their basic job of getting informed about a treaty that contains “living agreement” language which could finish Obama’s intended fundamental transformation of America is startling. Only members of Congress can read the Trans-Pacific Partnership prior to Obama’s signature on fast track. Given the Senate’s scheduled vote on cloture on Tuesday, it is irresponsibly dangerous for any Senator to vote for fast tracking a treaty they have failed to read and understand.
Trump, who recorded radio ads that Manning’s group is running in New Hampshire against the trade deal, also said this issue will be a very big deal on the 2016 campaign trail even if voters don’t understand the intricacies of complicated trade police because at the very least, he said: “
“The voters understand the country is going to hell.”