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Donald Trump won't be able to deliver on trade promises, expert says

While President-elect Donald Trump has talked tough on trade, it's unlikely he'll be able to renegotiate or withdraw from deals, a trade expert told CNBC on Monday.

Throughout the campaign, Trump promised to end what he called unfair trade practices and has threatened to pull out of established deals.

One of his targets is the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada. Another is the United States' World Trade Organization obligations to China.

"Donald Trump is not going to be able to do any of the things that he's promised to do," said Matt Gold, a former deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for North America.

"We are tightly locked in by our trade obligations, so there's nothing he can do to create leverage except threaten to violate trade treaty obligations or threaten to withdraw from trade treaties and lift those obligations off of our shoulders. And neither threat is really credible," he told CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Gold said the U.S. Trade Representative's Office is the "best of the best" and therefore the trade deals aren't going to get any better than they already are.

Trump has also attacked the now-suspended Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was designed to expand U.S. exports with 11 Pacific Rim trading partners. President Barack Obama's trade office has backed off of its effort to pass the deal before Trump takes office.

— Reuters contributed to this report.