Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Trump Ponders Re-Entering Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso answers a question during an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso answers a question during an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo Japan
Jay Anderson | 15 April, 2018, 01:10

Trump had tweeted that the U.S. would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to former president Barack Obama.

Thursday morning, President Trump revealed that he has directed his administration to look into rejoining the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, indicating an extreme U-turn in his position and rhetoric around the TPP deal itself and global trade overall. "We already have BILATERAL deals with six of the eleven nations in TPP, and are working to make a deal with the biggest of those nations, Japan, who has hit us hard on trade for years!"

"We welcome the United States coming back to the table, but I don't see any wholesale appetite for any material renegotiation of [the pact]", Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo said.

The original TPP is now the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership and involves the other 11 TPP countries.

"We welcome the USA coming back to the table but I don't see any wholesale appetite for any material re-negotiation of the TPP-11", Australia Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said Friday.

Ministers from Japan, Australia and Malaysia welcomed President Donald Trump directing officials to explore returning to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pact he withdrew from shortly after coming to office. "We'll put a team together, but we haven't even done-I mean, it just happened a couple of hours ago", said Larry Kudlow, Trump's top economic adviser.




The remarks were another conciliatory signal from the administration following tit-for-tat tariffs proposals from the world's two largest economies that rattled markets. And now it's $500 billion in deficits and a theft of $300 billion in intellectual property.

The TPP, a trade deal that was to involve 12 countries including the U.S., was conceived under former President Barack Obama as a way to counter China's surging power in the region. For instance, ranchers in Australia can send beef to Japan more cheaply than ranchers in the US.

"Go get it done", the president reportedly told Larry Kudlow during Thursday's meeting with lawmakers.

Trump withdrew the U.S. from the TPP during his first week in office.

"You'd need a whole renegotiation", he said. Ratification of the CPTPP is expected this spring, and the trade partners could consider adding new members not long after. Many economists say the best way to combat a rising China and pressure it to open its market is through multilateral trade deals like the TPP, which create favourable trading terms for participants.

"Last year, the President kept his promise to end the TPP deal negotiated by the Obama Administration because it was unfair to American workers and farmers", White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement Thursday.

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