Trump Directs Cabinet to Look Into Rejoining TPP Trade Agreement

Mike Pompeo
Japan minister: Good to have US back in TPP but path of return tough (VIDEO)
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13 April, 2018

"He multiple times reaffirmed the point that TPP might be easier to join now", Senator Ben Sasse told reporters after the meeting, adding that the president told Mr Kudlow to "get it done".

Trump had lumped TPP into a group of agreements he opposed because of his general thought that the United States was getting a raw deal from other nations in trade.

President Donald Trump is telling a group of farm state governors and lawmakers that he's pressing China to treat the American agriculture industry fairly.

"We have officially terminated TPP", declared Mr. Trump at the order signing. "This is done by wealthy people that want to take advantage of us and that want to sign another partnership", Trump said at the time.

The move runs counter to Trump's repeatedly expressed belief that he prefers "bilateral" trade agreements - between the USA and one other country - to wide-ranging pacts like TPP and the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which he has also said should be rewritten or scrapped.

The apparent U-turn in Donald Trump's stance on the agreement was announced by Republican senators, following a meeting at the White House on Thursday.

Trump signaled a possible reconsideration of the TPP back in January if its terms were more favorable.

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The 11 remaining nations, representing 13 percent of global output including Japan and Canada, finalized a revised version of the trade pact last month, renaming it the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership or CPTPP. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would open more overseas markets for American farmers.

Trump was discussing the Chinese threat to slap tariffs on soybeans and other crops grown in rural America. "He's going to get rid of a lot of taxes and tariffs", Trump said of Xi.

Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, which was highly critical of USA involvement in a pact it viewed as lowering labor and environmental standards, said Trump's reversal on the issue would signal that the president "cannot be trusted on anything", said Lori Wallach, the group's director. The US would reenter the deal if it was "substantially better", he told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The EPA now bans the 15-percent blend, called E15, during the summer because of concerns that it contributes to smog on hot days.

During the exchange, Trump suggested the possibility of directing the Environmental Protection Agency to allow year-round sales of renewable fuel with blends of 15 per cent ethanol.

An array of business executives are expressing alarm to federal lawmakers Thursday about the impact that tariffs will have on their business. Still, there were some supporters, too.


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