Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) — the Senate majority whip — took a subtle swipe at his own party’s nominee Donald Trump for his position against free trade deals. Cornyn penned an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle Sunday that doesn’t call out Trump by name, but given the centrality of opposing free trade to Trump’s campaign, it’s not hard to miss who the target is.
“Free trade has taken a lot of hits this campaign season. Candidates from both parties have argued that this core tenet of capitalism should be completely rewritten, if not entirely erased,” Cornyn said.
The op-ed didn’t mention specifically the Trans Pacific Partnership, the trade deal that both Trump and Hillary Clinton have come out against, but Cornyn criticized some of the rhetoric employed during the presidential campaign cycle to oppose free trade deals.
“The reasoning goes something like this: If we open up our economy and cut trade deals with other countries, we run the risk of sending American jobs overseas,” Cornyn wrote. “That may sound convincing, but those claims are often exaggerated and ignore the tremendous benefits trade provides folks here at home. And it flies in the face of what we’ve experienced here in Texas and across the United States.”
The Texas senator’s op-ed went on to highlight how the Lone Star state has benefited from the “longstanding economic partnership with Mexico,” according to Cornyn. Trump has been particularly harsh on Mexico’s trade practices from the campaign stump.
“The bottom line is that trade isn’t a dirty word in the Texas vernacular. Rather, it’s an essential piece of our economy and way of life,” Cornyn wrote.
“Certainly, there are ways we can improve trade agreements in the future for American businesses and consumers. And that’s why legislation that provides strong enforcement of our trade laws and assistance to better prepare American workers with the skills to compete in a global economy is so important.”