Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders released a statement offering glowing praise for President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, placing Sanders’ far-left supporters in a situation where they must either agree with Trump or go against their favored candidate.
In the statement, Sanders expressed relief that the TPP is “dead and gone,” blasting the deal as one that would have stripped jobs away from the United States and lowered wages for millions of workers. The Vermont senator compared the TPP to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in that regard.
He then went on to strike a diplomatic chord with the Trump administration by restating their shared stance on putting America first.
“Now is the time to develop a new trade policy that helps working families, not just multi-national corporations,” Sanders said. “If President Trump is serious about a new policy to help American workers then I would be delighted to work with him.”
The TPP, originally brokered by President Barack Obama, faced strong bipartisan criticism. Opponents to the trade deal questioned the intense level of secrecy surrounding the negotiations, the broad powers granted to corporations to sue governments, and the marked increase in copyright and intellectual property regulations.
Trump authorized the withdrawal via an executive order, marking the swift fulfillment of a key campaign promise. NAFTA could be next on the chopping block, with Trump stating over the weekend that he would reconfigure the tariff-eliminating deal between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.