GOP frontrunner Donald Trump lambasted the permanent political class for supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News ahead of the next debate.
“The deal is insanity,” he said. “That deal should not be supported and it should not be allowed to happen.”
The 5,544-page deal is far too long to be understood, said Trump. “Nobody understands it,” he said. The “Obamatrade” deal is longer than Obamacare plus the 2013 amnesty bill, authored by 2016 candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)and Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
“The deal is so bad because of the fact they don’t cover currency manipulation,” Trump added. “It’s the number-one weapon used by foreign countries to hurt the United States and take away jobs.”
He also hit the deal as a giveaway to China. “We are giving away what ultimately is going to be a back door for China,” he said. “China will take advantage of it—all the weak points in it, more than anybody else,” said Trump, who has previously criticized China’s manipulation of currency prices. China is not part of the TPP deal, but is widely expected to join in the next few years.
Rubio, Trump’s chief rival from the Washington establishment, has publicly backed the TPP deal multiple times throughout the year—in the Wall Street Journal and in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, where he called it a “pillar” of his desired presidency.
But now Rubio’s team says he’s undecided about the unpopular deal.
However, Rubio also provided the critical 60th vote for Obamatrade’s Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which greases the skids for an congressional approval of the trade deal. TPA makes it impossible to amend the deal–or any other trade deal brought before Congress–and eliminates the ability for a Senate filibuster, essentially sealing final passage of TPP before the deal’s text even became public last week.
Questions have arisen about whether Rubio read the text of the TPP deal–which was available in the basement of the U.S. Capitol for lawmakers to read in person –before he voted for the TPA which would fast-track it. Rubio’s team refuses to answer which days he supposedly spent in the classified reading room reading the text. It would have required multiple days in the room to read the deal before he voted on it.