As he traveled across Asia, President Trump touted a flurry of multibillion-dollar military sales and one-off business deals with nations he visited. Upon his return to the White House this week, he is pledging to unveil more, boasting that his handiwork is “far bigger than anything you know.”
But the 12-day trip also underscored how little progress Trump has made on a far more sweeping pledge central to his “America first” vision: replacing multilateral trade agreements — which he has long railed against but every U.S. president since Harry S. Truman has embraced — with one-on-one deals more “fair” to the United States.
“None of the trading partners, particularly in Asia, seem to be enthused about such a prospect,” said Wendy Cutler, a longtime U.S. trade official who now serves as vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute.
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