Donald Trump said Tuesday that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal was a “rape” of the United States.
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country — just a continuing rape of our country,” the likely Republican presidential nominee said at a rally in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
“It’s a harsh word but it’s true,” he said.
He has made trade a top issue in the general election contest against likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who championed TPP as secretary of state but now says she can’t support it without some changes.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump delivered a major policy speech in nearby Pennsylvania in which he railed against globalization and pledged to cancel TPP and take other steps to rewrite trade deals that he said led to the demise of U.S. manufacturing.
President Obama has made TPP, a massive deal that includes a dozen Pacific Rim countries, the cornerstone of this Asia policy and a top priority for his last year in office.
The trade deal has not been ratified by Congress, where the Republican majority has long favored such free trade agreements.