According to CNN, Wilbur Ross, Donald Trump’s pick to be Commerce secretary, signed a letter in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in 2015.
Since then, Ross has emerged as a vocal critic of trade deals, saying as recently as Wednesday that the TPP was a “horrible deal.”
Ross has made other statements in conflict with Donald Trump in recent years, including the assertion jobs would never come back to the United States from China.
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The TPP letter was sent by the Partnership of New York to New York’s congressional delegation and was signed by other notable businessmen like Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, and Rupert Murdoch of 21st Century Fox. The letter argued TPP would create jobs in the United States.
The letter was first posted by the Huffington Post in May 2015, before Trump was running for president, noting that some billionaire Republican donors backed TPP.
“On behalf of the Partnership for New York City, whose members collectively employ 1.5 million New Yorkers, we urge you to support the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA) and allow negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement to move forward,” the letter reads.
“Trade experts and economists agree that the TPP would be a catalyst for creating new jobs in the United States, attracting more foreign investment to this country, and benefitting American workers in a broad range of industries,” the letter adds. “Economic growth at home can only happen through more aggressive export of American goods and services for purchase by the 95% of the world’s consumers who live beyond our borders.”
A comment request to the Ross and the Trump transition team was not returned.
In 2012, speaking on the presidential election, Ross said U.S. jobs would not come back from China, even if there was a downturn in the Chinese economy.
“I think the China bashing is widely overdone in this country,” Ross said on CNBC in 2012. “The reality is if something were to happen that cost China jobs — like if they upwardly revalued the currency a lot — those jobs aren’t going to come back to the U.S. They would go to Vietnam, they would go to Thailand. They would go to whatever country was the lowest cost. So it’s a fiction on both sides that those jobs will come back. The way we’ll get more jobs is by creating new industries, new companies, businesses that are higher tech and therefore can compete.”
CNNMoney (New York)
First published December 2, 2016