This is from Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross at his confirmation hearing (sorry about the all caps -- that's how it was at the link and I don't feel like retyping it):
BUT I WOULD HOPE THAT IF CONFIRMED I CAN CONTRIBUTE TOWARD DESIGNING KIND OF A MODEL TRADE AGREEMENT WHERE WE WOULD INTRODUCE INTO IT CERTAIN PRINCIPLES THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE IN ANY AGREEMENT. I THINK IT'S A HUGE MISTAKE TO START OUT EACH TIME WITH KIND OF A BLANK PAGE FROM GROUND ZERO. MAKES IT TAKE LONGER. MAKES IT HARDER TO NEGOTIATE. THE BEST NEGOTIATING TOOL IS TO BE ABLE TO TELL SOMEONE I CAN'T CHANGE THIS, THIS IS OFFICIAL POLICY, YOU KNOW IT IS, WE GOT IT IN TEN OTHER DEALS, WE'RE NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU ANYTHING DIFFERENT. THAT'S A MUCH BETTER POSITION IN MY OPINION THAN STARTING OUT WITH A BLANK SLATE.
Obviously, the U.S. does not negotiate its trade deals from a blank slate, but nevertheless I'm curious about the idea of putting together a model trade agreement. Is it worth the effort? Or do our past trade agreements already serve as a model? Is the Trump administration really going to spend time on this?