Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, made a declaration on Saturday that he would block a proposed Pacific trade pact backed by President Joe Biden if he were to win the 2024 election and return to the White House.
During a rally in Iowa, Trump expressed his opposition to the regional trade deal currently being negotiated by the Biden administration with 13 other countries. He argued that the agreement would have detrimental effects on US manufacturing and result in job losses.
Negotiations on the trade sections of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), which aims to provide an alternative to China’s trade dominance in the region, faced obstacles recently when some nations, including Vietnam and Indonesia, declined to commit to rigorous labor and environmental standards.
Having pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which had involved many of the same countries, after assuming office in 2017, Trump stated that he would immediately terminate what he referred to as “TPP Two” upon taking office.
“At the start of the next administration… the Biden plan for ‘TPP Two’ will be immediately rejected,” Trump proclaimed at a campaign event in Fort Dodge, located approximately 94 miles (150 km) north of Des Moines. He added, “This deal is even worse than the previous one, posing a threat to farmers and manufacturers as it feeds into another massive globalist plan that promotes outsourcing to Asia.”
The Biden administration had hoped to finalize crucial chapters of its IPEF trade initiative before this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) gathering. However, experts in trade and business groups believe that election-related pressures and resistance from some countries to robust commitments make it unlikely for a deal to be reached in the near future.