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Manufacturers disappointed over lack of support for trade in GOP platform

Manufacturers disappointed over lack of support for trade in GOP platform
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A manufacturing trade group expressed disappointment over a lack of support for free trade in the Republican Party's platform, which was approved on Monday in Cleveland. 

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) argued that the GOP has allowed "divisive issues" to obscure the importance of trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), even though the party has historically been a strong supporter of expanding global trade. 

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“The platform represents a missed opportunity to promote all pillars of American exceptionalism: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity,” wrote Aric Newhouse, NAM’s senior vice president, in a blog post. 

“Some statements on trade, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, immigration policy, individual liberty and equal opportunity leave a lot to be desired,” Newhouse wrote.

The Republican platform doesn’t mention the TPP, which presumptive presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Reinstating SALT deduction 'sends a terrible, terrible message' GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote One quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors MORE opposes, and suggests that more time should be taken to pass trade agreements. 

“These misguided statements do not just hold back the party, but also our country,” Newhouse said. 

Trump’s anti-trade rhetoric has aggravated U.S. business groups, which argue the United States must make the rules and take the lead in the Pacific on trade, which will solidify strategic and security concerns in the region.

Last week, NAM President Jay Timmons called on Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceTrump spokesman says defeating Cheney a top priority GOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories McConnell amid Trump criticism: 'I'm looking forward, not backward' MORE, Trump's pro-trade running mate, to change the New York businessman's mind on the TPP.

President Obama is urging Congress to pass the 12-nation pact after the November elections and before he leaves office.

But Trump's and Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' Hillary Clinton: There must be a 'global reckoning' with disinformation Pelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights MORE's anti-trade rhetoric has made the chances of Congress passing the TPP deal this year increasingly difficult. 

The TPP was completed in October after nearly six years of negotiations and was released to the public a month later. The deal was signed by the United States and 11 other nations in February.