Throughout this election campaign, there has been one major event that has surprised both Democrats and Republicans alike: that Trump has successfully secured the Republican nomination for President. As we march closer to November, the possibility that Donald Trump may actually become President becomes more and more a reality.
To everyone’s further astonishment, Donald Trump has emerged as one of the largest supporters of the Anti-Globalization movement. With the large amount of unfocused rhetoric coming from Team Trump it can be hard to separate his sarcastic comments from those that are ‘not that sarcastic’. So in order to determine where his true convictions lie, let’s stick to the pillars – the foundation if you will – of the Trump campaign.
1. NAFTA is a ‘disaster’. NAFTA was created in 1994 and largely expanded on a free trade agreement that had been in place since 1989 between Canada, the USA, and Mexico. It was created to eliminate tariffs, establish standards, and increase overall trade. One of the common complaints from Anti-globalization activists is that NAFTA perpetuates abuses by promoting neoliberalism while ignoring ethical standards and environmental protections.
The door to renegotiate NAFTA has been closed and locked for more than 20 years, and yet repeatedly Trump has vowed to renegotiate this agreement if elected president. It could be the opening that Anti-Globalization activists have been waiting for.
2. Withdraw from the TPP. The TPP or Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is currently being negotiated, but its fate hangs in the balance while the world awaits the outcome of the US election. The TPP’s supporters say that it will enforce patents, copyrights, labour and legal protections. They claim that the United States will be the biggest winner with net gains above $100 billion dollars annually.
On the other hand, Anti-Globalization activists claim that the deal will allow pharmaceutical companies to charge higher prices to developing countries and put more power into the hands of multinational corporations, negatively impacting the self determination of nations. Donald Trump has stated emphatically that he will withdraw from the TPP if elected and he has made it one of his frequent talking points. Nothing would make the Anti-Globalization movement happier.
On the face of it, opposing a trade agreement is not entirely surprising. In fact, all four main candidates now oppose the TPP. Hillary was initially in favour of the TPP but switched tracks once she discovered that her supporters (Bernie’s) were against it. What is VERY surprising is that Donald Trump opposes it. The Trump Organization owns, operates and invests in hotels, golf courses and luxury resorts around the world. One would think that being the 100% owner of a multinational organization would automatically put you in favour of a trade deal that benefits these types of companies.
Not only that, but Republicans have traditionally been the standard bearers for free trade. After all, it was Ronald Reagan who signed the original free trade agreement with Canada in the first place. Trump has compared himself to Reagan as a genuinely conservative candidate, but it appears they would’ve disagreed on this issue.
Could it be that Donald Trump truly believes that the TPP is bad for Americans, and is standing behind his conscience? Could it be that he is really standing up for the little guy? If you consider yourself against globalization, and this is your top priority heading into the November election, you may have found an unlikely champion in Donald Trump.