Donald Trump, a frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, has pledged to scrap the Pacific trade initiative spearheaded by President Joe Biden if he gets elected and becomes the president of the country. Addressing supporters in Iowa, Trump criticised the deal’s potential impact on US manufacturing and jobs.
Expressing strong disapproval of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), a trade initiative involving negotiations with 13 nations led by the Biden administration, Trump argued that the deal would undermine US manufacturing and lead to job losses.
“Under the next administration… the Biden plan for ‘TPP Two’ will be dead on day one,” Trump said at a campaign event in Fort Dodge, about 94 miles (150 km) north of Des Moines.
The IPEF is positioned as an alternative to China’s expanding trade influence in the region.
Hurdles in IPEF negotiations
Recent hurdles in the trade talks within the IPEF have emerged, particularly regarding labour and environmental standards.
Countries like Vietnam and Indonesia have hesitated to commit to robust standards, complicating the negotiation process for this ambitious trade framework.
What is Trump’s stance on trade deals?
Referring to his earlier withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in 2017, Trump pledged to dismantle what he referred to as “TPP Two” upon returning to office.
He characterised the proposed trade pact as a “globalist monstrosity” that would accelerate outsourcing to Asia, aligning with his longstanding critique of international trade agreements.
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What are the challenges for the Biden administration?
While the Biden administration aimed to finalise key chapters of the IPEF before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, scepticism remains.
Election-year pressures and resistance from certain countries to stringent commitments pose challenges, casting doubt on the feasibility of a comprehensive deal, as noted by trade experts and business groups.
In the unfolding narrative of US trade policy, Trump’s commitment to overturn Biden’s trade initiatives introduces the prospect of significant changes in international economic relations should the former president reclaim the White House in 2024.
(With inputs from agencies)