Trump made it clear throughout his presidential campaign that he was against trade deals that led to an exodus of industrial and manufacturing jobs from the US. He railed against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) — with Mexico and Canada, which he described as "the worst trade deal in history".
He also slammed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal — a broad agreement that includes Mexico, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam (but not China).
"The TPP would be the death blow for American manufacturing. It would give up all of our economic leverage to an international commission that would put the interests of foreign countries above our own," Trump said.
'TTIP is Now Dead'
Trade ministers in the EU are now struggling to understand where to go with their latest trade deal — the controversial EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) — which has already run into significant opposition within Europe.
German European Parliament member David McAllister, who chairs its delegation for relations with the United States said: "Mr. Trump is critical on free-trade agreements. He wants to reverse the NAFTA agreement. He was very critical on TPP."
"The planned TTIP agreement with us Europeans did not play such a central role in the presidential campaign. I think we will just have to wait and see what the next Trump administration will have for ideas. I believe trade negotiations with the Trump administration will be more difficult than under an Obama administration," McAllister said.
European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström admitted on the day of Trump's election victory: "We frankly don't know" whether Trump wants to continue negotiations over TTIP, while former Commissioner, Belgian politician Karel De Gucht said: "TTIP is now dead".