While moving to formally kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, President Trump on Monday vowed to make America friendlier for companies to do business — and less hospitable to those who outsource jobs.
Speaking with business leaders at the White House, Trump reiterated that jobs would be his top priority.
“But we want to make our products here … We’re going to start making our products here.”
“That doesn’t mean that we don’t trade, because we do trade,” he said. “But we want to make our products here … We’re going to start making our products here. There are going to be advantages to companies that do in fact make our products here.”
Trump signed an executive order on Monday to formally withdraw from the 12-nation trade pact that former President Barack Obama negotiated.
Trump also repeated a campaign pledge to cut taxes massively for both business and the middle class. He also said he would pursue reform in an area that some businesses find even more onerous than taxes — regulation.
Trump said he might be able to cut regulations by 75 percent or more — without harming Americans.
“We’re going to have regulation massively,” he said. “Now we’re gonna have regulation, and it’ll be just as strong and just as good and just as protective … as the regulation that we have right now.”
Trump said he would so improve the business environment that there will be little incentive for companies to build factories abroad. But if they do, he added, it will not be without consequence.
“If you go to another country … we are going to be imposing a very major border tax on the product that comes in,” he said.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican who supported the TPP, told CNN that he is a “little nervous” about talk of erecting trade barriers. But he said he harbored no misconceptions about the future of the proposed trade pact.
“I knew this was dead, dead in the water,” he said.