Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has come under fire for proposing the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the sweeping free trade agreement between the United States, Europe and Japan.
TTIP was proposed in 2016 by President Donald Trump and is currently being negotiated between the European Union and China.
Bolton’s plan to halt TTIP, which would impose new tariffs on American products and services, was met with outrage on both sides of the Atlantic.
“I think it’s absolutely wrong to do that,” Bolton said.
“The United States and China have both made it very clear that they don’t like that.
They’re both pushing hard to push a deal that’s going to have devastating consequences for the American economy and their own economies.”
The Republican’s proposal is opposed by nearly every major trade group in the United Kingdom, the European Parliament, the U.K.’s business lobby and many in the European mainstream media.
Bolton has not taken a position on the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that the Trump administration is negotiating with 12 Pacific Rim nations.
But Bolton’s stance is at odds with his own administration’s position on TTIP.
“TTIP has not had a free-trade agreement,” Bolton told Business Insider.
“It is an agreement which allows corporations to set their own trade policy.”
While Bolton is not a member of Trump’s Cabinet, he has made a name for himself in the conservative world.
The former ambassador to China is widely seen as the architect of the so-called “China policy,” which sought to push back against Chinese leaders’ efforts to expand trade with the United State.
“One of the things that China does that I don’t think they can compete with is its ability to build a vast network of international companies to compete with U.