President Donald Trump has taken different approaches to trade throughout his presidency, but he must focus on free trade to continue economic successes, Karl Rove wrote in a column for The Wall Street Journal.
Rove, an author and former senior adviser to the George W. Bush administration, noted that Trump has appeared mercantilist, protectionist, and focused on managed trade.
In a press conference with European Commission president Jean-Claude Junkcer, Trump committed “at least in theory, to a wide-ranging free-trade agenda,” Rove writes.
Meeting with Juncker put Trump’s administration on a “better path for trade policy,” Rove writes.
While Trump had said that the U.S. should pull out of the World Trade Organization, his statement with Juncker was recognition that making the WTO stronger and more modernized was the path forward, Rove writes.
While Trump has said that his predecessors negotiated, “the worst trade deals ever made,” Rove questioned if Trump could do better.
“Mr. Trump’s ambitious goals—to negotiate an FTA (free trade agreement) with Europe and update the WTO nontariff obstacles, then American workers, producers and service providers can compete virtually anywhere in the world,” Rove writes.
“Here’s hoping he is committed to success,” he added.
Rove has spoken about Trump and trade policies before. In May, he said that Trump and his trade team should zero in on “long-term policy changes that level the playing field” with China.
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