Iowa Republican Says Trump's Trade Views Separate Him From Party Establishment

Jul 5, 2016

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other international trade deals may be to blame for some of the rift between the Republican presidential hopeful and his party's leaders, says Iowa's long-time Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley.

Grassley says Donald Trump's opposition to the 12-country trade deal resonates more with the rank-and-file.

"The populists within the Republican Party probably agree with Trump," Grassley says. "But establishment Republicans—that's one of the things that they find fault with Trump about."

Grassley says Trump has made declarations about improving trade deals that in his view didn't bring adequate benefits for the United States. But the senator says underneath the campaign declarations, he thinks Trump sees international trade the same way many Republican leaders do.

"He is smart enough to know that free trade is a good thing if it's fair trade," Grassley says.

Grassley says that's the view he and other Republicans have had for 30 years.

Because Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has also come out against TPP, Grassley says he doesn't think the trade deal will be a significant factor as voters make their choice.

Grassley adds that Trump's commercial experience puts him in a unique position for a politician.

"He's got this reputation for being a big dealer in the business world," Grassley says. "And he's going to take that deal-making capability of his to the White House."