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Trump’s tough ‘America first’ trade talk may already be paying dividends: Report

“The United States made some of the worst Trade Deals in world history. Why should we continue these deals with countries that do not help us?”

(National SentinelTrade: One of President Donald J. Trump’s signature issues on the campaign trail, and very likely one that helped him break down the history “blue wall” of industry-heavy blue states, was his pledge to “renegotiate” many of America’s “very bad” trade deals.

While the president has yet to actually do that, he has pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he (and many others in Congress and in think tanks) believed was just another giveaway to other nations, all at a net loss for American trade, jobs and opportunity.

As reported by the Washington Times Jan. 23, two days after Trump took office:

Mr. Trump could end the U.S. participation with 11 other Pacific Rim nations with the stroke of a pen because Congress had not ratified the ambitious accord despite strong support from business groups and President Obama. Nevertheless, the withdrawal put Capitol Hill and foreign governments on notice that the president would demand better deals on a one-on-one basis.

“We’re going to stop the ridiculous trade deals that have taken everybody out of our country and taken companies out of our country, and it’s going to be reversed,” Trump told labor leaders, including some representing ironworkers and sheet metal workers. “Companies that left are going to come back to our country, and they’re going to hire a lot of people.”

No deals have yet to be renegotiated, though that’s always been on the table. And Trump’s actions thus far, coupled with the threat of renegotiation, has already led to many countries backing off their trade demands, including potential protectionist measures.

As reported by The Daily Caller:

America’s trading partners have imposed fewer tariffs, duties and limits on U.S. imports since Trump’s election, probably fearing retaliation from the Trump administration, according to the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research’s Global Trade Alert report.

The report comes a week before Trump and other G20 nations meet for a conference in Hamburg, Germany. The authors of the report argue that since the G20 has failed to curb protectionist trade practices among its member states, Trump has plenty of ammunition to attack multilateral trade deals and promote U.S. protectionism.

“The G20 countries that had hit U.S. interests more often before President Trump was elected are the very G20 countries that have cut back on protectionism the most in 2017,” Simon Evenett, professor of economics at St. Gallen University in Switzerland and one of the authors of the report, told CNN Money.

“Why should [they] do that unless they feared being singled out for retaliation? These heavy users of protectionism may be signaling that they have gotten the message from the Trump Administration in Washington,” Evenett added.

The countries that usually engage in protectionism have responded to “Trump’s shock and awe on trade by resorting to less protectionism outright and, in particular, to much fewer measures that harm US commercial interests,” the report noted.

As a billionaire businessman, Trump has long understood the nuances of trade, global economics and the fact that as the world’s No. 1 economy, the United States has always retained incredible leverage over every other nations because we are the world’s market.

It’s the difference between placing your brand-new electronic widget in Walmart or the local merchandise store down the block, in terms of sales and revenue potential: If other countries can get their products to the U.S., they are virtually assured a sizable market.

But for too long, that’s been a one-way street, and Trump knows it. He also knew instinctively what politicians who have made these awful trade deals either did not know or were paid (in donations) to ignore by corporations moving their operations to cheaper labor markets overseas — that America’s economic might is a major negotiating tool that has not been wielded in many years, to the detriment of the American worker.

“The United States made some of the worst Trade Deals in world history. Why should we continue these deals with countries that do not help us?,” Trump tweeted Wednesday before departing to Europe to meet with the G20 leaders.

“The United States made some of the worst Trade Deals in world history. Why should we continue these deals with countries that do not help us?,” Trump tweeted Wednesday before departing to Europe to meet with the G20 leaders.

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