January 24, 2017


Trump's Trade Action Shuffles Old Party Alliances (Caitlin Huey-Burns & James Arkin, Jan. 24th, 2017, Real Clear Politics)

[T]rump's position on trade -- he also pledged to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement -- puts him at odds with Republican orthodoxy. Most Republicans support free trade agreements and voted overwhelmingly to give former President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate them in 2015 over the dissent of most Democrats. Republicans have also raised concern about additional economic plans that deviate from traditional conservatism, such as imposing a border tax on companies that move American manufacturing jobs overseas -- a proposal Trump reminded the country's top chief executives about during a roundtable discussion Monday.

Trump's decision on TPP highlighted divisions between Democrats and Obama. Several Democratic lawmakers, including Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Tim Casey of Pennsylvania -- both states Trump won in November -- praised Trump for the executive action. Sanders said he was "glad the Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead and gone."

Despite Obama pushing for TPP as a legacy item in his final year in office, Democratic leaders in both chambers panned the agreement without giving Trump credit for discarding it. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said his trade views were closer to Trump's than to Obama's, but said Democrats "await real action on trade." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Trump's order "largely symbolic," and said TPP failed, thanks to Democratic opposition.

"We will see how many Republicans now pretend to have been on the same side as Democrats in demanding a better trade agreement for American workers," Pelosi said.

While several Democrats were positive about Trump's action and echoed his rhetoric on trade, some Republicans voiced concern with the implications of the withdrawal. Notably, they used an argument Obama often employed when pitching the trade agreement, questioning what it might do to embolden China -- even if they voiced them more quietly than they would have if the new president had not run on their party's ticket.

Trade and immigration are pretty much the only ways he could tank the boom that the UR handed him, but, thankfully, Republicans are there to stop him.  The real catastrophe would have been if he'd won and Democrats carried Congress too.

Posted by at January 24, 2017 8:34 AM


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