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US Chamber of Commerce warns Trump on trade

Washington needs to trade with foreign markets if it wants to boost domestic growth, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned on Monday.

"President-elect Trump's focus is on strengthening the U.S economy through tax reform, deregulation, infrastructure spending, and smarter energy policies but you can't get the growth by ignoring the reality that we have to sell to 95 percent of the market that lives outside the U.S," said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the federation.

Trump has made no secret that he's looking to isolate the world's number one economy from global trade flows by rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership—the world's largest free trade pact—and worsening ties with China, America's largest goods trading partner.

"Yes, we have to worry about domestic growth but part of that growth will come from the expansion of commercial ties around the world," cautioned Brilliant. Thus, Trump cannot ignore the importance of Asia Pacific region, home to two thirds of global growth today, as well as other important markets, he continued.

Donald Trump
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Donald Trump

A series of harsh rebukes and the installation of well-known anti-China officials in his cabinet in recent weeks revealed the Republican's aggressive attitude towards Beijing. Through various tweets, Trump has complained about Beijing artificially depreciating its currency, unfairly taxing U.S. products, militarizing the South China Sea, and failing to adequately punish rogue state North Korea.

But on Friday, Trump announced that he will not label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, which could be an indicator of a softened stance.

"We need to encourage Trump to not only invest in the U.S. economy but to also recognize that America needs to be a leader in growing economic ties around the world," Brilliant urged.

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