Donald Trump is well known for his vociferous complaints about foreign trade. Trump has also gained notoriety for offering very vague policy proposals, and trade is no exception. This has left observers knowing that Trump wants to do something big on trade but without much sense of what, specifically, that will be. Now that Trump is president-elect of the United States, that uncertainty is bound to vanish as Trump’s plans and intentions necessarily become more concrete.
For the moment, however, we are left to speculate based on Trump’s vague and bellicose announcements. The most reliable indicator of Trump’s plans is probably Trump’s “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again” he produced in the closing weeks of his campaign. That plan has reportedly been fleshed out a bit by his transition team. The plan includes numerous executive actions and a list of legislative proposals.
In one section, Trump lists “Seven actions to protect American workers,” four of which directly involve trade. Let’s go through them one by one.
Renegotiate of Withdraw from NAFTA
It’s no secret Donald Trump really doesn’t like NAFTA. He has said that NAFTA “destroyed our country.” It’s safe to assume Trump means to act on this. According to Politico, the longer version of Trump’s 100-day plan specifies that Trump will start renegotiating NAFTA on day one and withdraw from NAFTA “by day 200” if he hasn’t gotten what he wants yet.