Indiana Gov. Mike Pence defended Donald Trump's position on the North American Free Trade Agreement in North Carolina on Wednesday, despite his previous support for NAFTA as a congressman.
The GOP vice presidential nominee's criticism of NAFTA's impact provided a stark contrast with his words as a congressman from the Hoosier State.
"The truth of the matter is when you look at the North American Free Trade Agreement, it actually had a provision in it that required the United States to review the results of NAFTA on a regular basis to determine whether or not it was working for American workers. And that, in fact, has never happened," Pence said in Charlotte.
In 2001, Pence delivered a speech offering a full-throated defense of NAFTA.
"Indiana benefited directly under the North American Free Trade Agreement," Pence argued. "Under NAFTA, Mexico eliminated import licensing and is phasing out tariffs for wheat altogether. Wheat exports to Mexico have doubled from Indiana since 1994."
Trump has promoted fair trade over free trade on the campaign trail. At the Charlotte Pipe and Foundry on Wednesday morning, Pence argued that the GOP ticket's economic protectionism did not amount to isolationism.
"What Donald Trump and I are talking about is not walking away from a global economy, not walking away from free trade, but rolling our sleeves up and having tough negotiations and holding our trading partners accountable to their word and to their commitments," Pence told the crowd.
Pence is on the campaign trail in the battleground state of North Carolina on Wednesday while Trump will visit deep-red Mississippi on Wednesday night.