President says the U.S. had previously sought to open its markets to the world but had suffered as a result, as other countries failed to reciprocate, stole intellectual property and unfairly supported their state enterprises.
President Donald Trump delivered a full-throated defense of economic nationalism, telling a Pacific Rim summit Friday that the U.S. would defend its commercial rights and wouldn’t enter into multilateral trade agreements that “tie our hands.”
Trump, addressing business leaders at the 21-country Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, said the U.S. has been treated unfairly by the global trading system and by bodies that underpin its rules, such as the World Trade Organization.
“We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of any more,” he said.
“I will make bilateral trade agreements with any Indo-Pacific nation that wants to be our partner and will abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade. What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that will tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible.”
Trump’s views on trade have pitted the U.S. trade delegation here against the other members of the economic summit, echoing previous disagreements with world leaders seen at the Group of Seven major economies and Group of 20 developing and industrialized nations.