Members of the Trump transition team are trying to quell concerns that the incoming administration is bent on sparking a protectionist trade war with Canada, Mexico and other trading partners over the next four years, reports the U.S. political and government policy news site, The Hill.
During the election campaign Donald Trump called NAFTA “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere,” and pledged to renegotiate or even “terminate” it. But Anthony Scaramucci, a senior advisor on the Trump transition team, assured a group of business leaders this week the President-elect is a free-trader who may look to make adjustments to trade deals like NAFTA, not tear them up.
“I don’t think we’re looking to rip up NAFTA as much as we are looking to right-size it and make it fairer (for the U.S),” Scaramucci said. “I don’t think anybody in the administration from the top to the bottom is looking for protectionism. We understand the economic harm and the impact that would take.
“I don’t think anybody in the administration is looking for quote-unquote tariffs, but I think they are a cudgel, if you will, to lay out there if we can’t get the trade deals to be right-sided to now benefit the American people.”
Scaramucci said trade officials have failed to use the “regulatory process or the review process” created under NAFTA to ensure fair compliance.
At the same time, he said the Trump transition team has tried to reassure business leaders worried about major disruptions in the country’s trade relationships.
Full Hill story here.