Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Trump Looks Into Rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Despite having pulled out of the trade deal previous year, President Trump has reportedly asked his top trade officials to negotiate re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Trump has asked his trade advisers to look at rejoining TPP, a multinational trade pact he withdrew the United States from a year ago, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.

President Trump, who held the White House meeting aimed at easing the high anxiety of Midwest lawmakers as a result of the China trade dispute, has previously not ruled out rejoining the TPP.

Turnbull had added that while he would encourage the United States to rejoin the TPP, he didn't see "any prospect of that".

Trump has ostensibly begun to appreciate that case.

The original TPP had been signed in February 2016 by the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, and Chile, but was then dumped by Trump on his first week in office in favour of bilateral trade deals that promote his "America first" protectionist policy, despite warnings that he risked "abdicating" trade leadership in the Asia-Pacific region to China. And many economists say the best way to combat a rising China and pressure it to open its market is through multilateral trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which create favorable trading terms for participants. Japan, a close USA ally, signed up for the 11-country trade pact.

Republicans in Congress have also been skeptical of Trump's tendencies on trade, and 25 Republican senators sent a letter to Trump, urging him to re-engage with the pact "so that the American people can prosper from the tremendous opportunities that these trading partners bring".

Trump has often said he prefers bilateral trade deals instead of multinational pacts, believing the US does not fare well in bigger trade deals.

When asked to comment on Thursday's comments on the TPP, a Canadian government official said there had not been any formal outreach so it was not possible to speculate on what a new pact would look like. The move could hurt Midwestern farmers, many of whom are strong supporters of the president.

Raymond James Washington policy analyst Ed Mills discusses how US companies are being affected by President Trump's 25% tariff on steel.

Indeed. Everyone knows that the best negotiators like to wait until a multi-party deal is complete to try and gain favorable conditions.

Sasse represents a Midwestern farm state.

Sen. Deb Fischer, D-Neb., a member of the Roberts-led panel, said the farm-state members were excited by the president's TPP talk because of a chance "to see those trade opportunities reaffirmed and grow". "A USA -alone action. that's not going to solve the real problems that we have".

President Trump once called TPP a "continuing rape of our country" but has reportedly signaled that he's willing to re-negotiate the deal.

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