The White House ramping up a protectionist agenda will likely disrupt not just global trade, but also the U.S. economy, a former U.S. ambassador to Singapore told CNBC.
Newly inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday formally pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which would have created a 12-country free-trade bloc. The TPP, which was negotiated during President Barack Obama's term in office, hadn't yet been voted on or ratified by Congress.
Trump also signaled he planned to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), enacted in 1994, which eliminated most tariffs between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.
But David Adelman, who was the U.S. ambassador to open-economy Singapore from 2010-2013 and led eight regional trade missions during that tenure, expressed concern about how those policies might affect not just the global economy, but also U.S. businesses.
Trump's "decidedly protectionist chord" so far "undoubtedly has American businesses, not just manufacturers, but also service providers, very concerned," Adelman told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday.
"The globalized economy is here to stay and American firms have done very well globally because they're up for the competition. And these global supply chains, I think, are not easily disrupted without also disrupting the American economy," he said.
Adelman, who is currently a partner at global law firm Reed Smith, which focuses in part on trade issues, also expressed concern about Trump's campaign vow to label China a currency manipulator for the purposes of a competitive trade advantage.