Mr. Trump, who has blamed bad trade deals for sending American jobs overseas, has promised to pull out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, one of Mr. Obama’s top foreign-policy initiatives that has yet to be ratified. He has pledged to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement if Canada and Mexico don’t agree to renegotiate terms. He has vowed to put a 45% tariff on Chinese imports if the Asian country doesn’t change practices he says are unfair, risking a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.
Those policies would represent a sharp turn for the U.S., which has long promoted removing trade barriers to boost economic growth. Now, many APEC leaders in Peru said they hoped to persuade the next U.S. president of trade’s benefits, while China indicated at the summit it was ready to take the lead in promoting trade.
“I very much see this as a strategic shift that is in progress,” said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society who was in Lima for the meeting. “There is real concern that the U.S. is withdrawing from its traditional role.”