On the eve of the 100 days in office milestone, President Donald Trump claims he is both a nationalist and a globalist — despite campaign promises that his presidency would reject globalism and put America first.
“Hey, I’m a nationalist and a globalist,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “I’m both.”
“And I’m the only one who makes the decision, believe me,” Trump said.
But Trump also said that he would terminate NAFTA “if we’re unable to make a deal, but hopefully we won’t have to do that.”
Trump’s remarks come as debate swirls around his presidential campaign promise to end the North America Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA in contrast to his recent assertion that he will “negotiate” a revision of the treaty that has guided U.S. trade policy with Mexico and Canada since 1994.
The Journal reported that Trump received almost back-to-back calls from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Following those conversations Trump said, “They’re serious about it and I will negotiate rather than terminate.”
“Meanwhile, Sonny Perdue—the agriculture secretary who took office two days earlier—and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met with Mr. Trump and showed him a map indicating the states where jobs would be lost if the pact collapsed, according to a person familiar with the matter,” the Journal reported, noting that many of the states on the map supported Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
“Those conversations, along with a flood of calls to the White House from business executives, helped steer Mr. Trump away from an idea that some of his own advisers feared was a rash and unnecessary threat to two trading partners who fully expected to renegotiate the agreement anyway,” the Journal reported.
“I expect the administration to closely consult with Congress before such major trade-policy decisions are made,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees trade. “Withdrawing from NAFTA would have significant effects on the America economy.”
Following Trump’s election in November, Chriss Street penned a commentary for Breitbart News focused on how Trump’s “America First” message would strike a blow to “world socialism.”
“The election of Donald Trump now represents an existential threat to World Socialism across the planet,” Street wrote. “Socialists know that when President Reagan went rogue with his muscular capitalist policies, communism quickly imploded. Trump has already torn up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have internationalized the law covering $28 trillion in trade and investment, about 40 percent of global GDP.
“Trump seems determined to destroy “Socialist Globalization” with the same capitalist tax cuts and regulatory relief that President Reagan used to destroy communism,” Street wrote.
In an interview with conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham last month, former presidential candidate and conservative commentator Pat Buchanan said abandoning his populist economic message would be “fatal” for Trump’s presidency.