U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Tom Donohue criticized Donald Trump’s protectionist trade rhetoric on Wednesday, saying trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement are beneficial to job growth.
“We need a trade deal that opens markets for us,” Donohue said in an interview with the Fox Business Network. “I like where he says we’ve got to get a little tougher on some of the fulfillment. But you want to stop trade? You want to get rid of NAFTA? NAFTA is 14 million jobs in the United States.”
The nation’s largest business group butted heads recently with Trump over a June trade policy speech. Trump has frequently advocated scrapping trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement that he says are detrimental to American workers.
Donohue also called for regulatory relief for capital markets, which he said are central to job growth.
“You’ve got to reduce this massive explosion of regulation,” he said. “You have to stop attacking and trying to destroy the capital markets that are key to creating jobs in small companies and big companies.”
Donohue said he hopes the Senate will retain its Republican majority to keep checks on the executive branch.
“I believe that if the Republicans lose the Senate, or that there’s a major reduction in the plurality in the House, that the balance with whomever becomes president will be much more serious for us to be concerned about,” he said.