Trump’s focusing on the wrong thing in trade talk, says conservative analyst

President Donald Trump listens during a dinner with European business leaders at the earth Economic Forum, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Davos.

Evan Vucci | AP

President Donald Trump listens during a dinner with European business leaders at the earth Economic Forum, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, in Davos.

In an exclusive interview at the earth Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday Trump told CNBChe would likely reconsider the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal if the U.S. could strike a “substantially better” agreement. He pulled out of the deal last January, although the idea already had little chance of securing congressional approval even before he took office.

He also repeated his position of which he may terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) if the U.S. could not reach what he calls a better deal.

“I think we have a Great chance, nevertheless we’ll see what happens,” he said of whether the U.S. would likely strike an agreement to stay inside three-nation deal with Canada in addition to Mexico.

Pethokoukis, a DeWitt Wallace Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said Republicans in general are very confused right currently about whether trade is usually Great or bad. As for Trump, “Until he says exactly what he wants coming from these deals in addition to what would likely get him to ‘yes,’ then the idea’s just rhetoric.”

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