The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is effectively “dead and buried” now that President Donald J. Trump has indicated a move away from multilateral trading blocs, a conservative think tank has said.
On Monday, just days after taking the reins at the Oval Office, President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which sought to create a trading bloc between America and 11 other countries, including Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.
The deal, a central plank of former President Barack Obama’s trade policy, had been lauded by globalists for its geo-political, as well as economic, significance. But Trump was unimpressed, calling the order to dismiss it a “great thing for the American worker”.
Addressing reporters during a ceremony in the Oval Office, Trump added: “We want to start making our products again. We don’t want to bring them in, we want to make them here.
“That doesn’t mean we don’t trade because we do, but we want to make our products here.”
Speaking to an audience at a think tank event in Brussels today, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström conceded that Trump’s rhetoric meant that TTIP was, if not dead, certainly on ice for the time being.
“The election of Donald Trump seems likely to put our EU–US negotiations firmly in the freezer at least for a while,” she said. “Yet, even if the US is our most important partner, and a necessary one, the world is bigger than one country.
“Trump or no Trump, we have a long list of many others willing to deal with the EU, and about 20 more trade deals already in the pipeline.”
Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group, Britain’s oldest conservative think tank, told Breitbart London that the rhetoric from the two leaders effectively signalled the end, not only of TTIP, but of the age of multilateral trade. He said:
2016 marked a move away from multinational multilateral blocs and a return to bi-lateral trade and relations. The nation state is central again..
Even pre-Brexit and Trump, TTIP was effectively dead; it’s now dead and buried in a concrete casket.
TTIP has the rare accolade of being unpopular with the right and left. If anything like it does return, it will be in different form, and many, many years from now.
His words echoed those of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who, commenting on the decision to withdraw from TPP, said the Trump administration wants “free and fair trade” around the world.
Instead, the new President’s government “will pursue bilateral trade opportunities with allies around the globe”, Spicer told reporters at his maiden news conference on Monday, adding: “When you’re entering into these multilateral agreements you’re allowing any country, no matter the size, any one of those 12, including us, to basically have the same stature of the U.S. in the agreement.”