Trump reverses position on Asian trade pact

13 April, 2018, 07:23 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Trump reverses position on Asian trade pact

US President Donald Trump has asked his trade advisers to look at rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multinational trade pact he withdrew the United States from a year ago, Reuters reports, citing White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters.

But those in the room say Mr. Trump directed chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow and trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer.

In what would be another dramatic reversal, President Donald Trump told farm-state lawmakers Thursday he might sign the United States up for the Trans-Pacific Partnership after all.

Aso added that he expected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump to discuss TPP at their summit meeting next week.

Trump has ostensibly begun to appreciate that case.

When the president a year ago announced he was quitting the deal, the other TPP countries suspended 20 provisions in the original accord and announced a new deal, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Representative Pocan (WI-02) today released the following statement regarding reports that President Donald Trump is requesting to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership after campaigning against the agreement and declaring it dead past year.

After he withdrew, the remaining 11 countries continued to negotiate over the pact, signing the deal in March.

The decision, which was welcomed by lawmakers from agricultural states, could mark an abrupt about-face for a president who had campaigned against the deal and swiftly withdrew from it after taking office a year ago.

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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".

Earlier this month, China responded to Mr Trump's threat of tariffs on as much as $US150 billion worth of Chinese goods by placing its own tariffs on American pork, and threatening taxes on soybeans, sorghum, corn and beef. The move could hurt Midwestern farmers, many of whom are strong supporters of the president.

Trump contended that "China has consistently treated the American farmer very poorly", noting that Beijing had until last year blocked US beef sales for 14 years.

The lawmakers also told the president that joining TPP would allow the United States to counter China's trade "cheating" by "leading" Asian countries that would rather be aligned with Washington than Beijing.

They have said the administration should be working with other countries to pressure China, instead of wielding tariffs that invite retaliation on industries such as agriculture.

"The farmers and ranchers, they don't want welfare payments - they want to feed the world", Sasse said.

Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of United States trade unions, said on Twitter that the TPP would have failed America's workers and "should remain dead". Now, with US influence erased from its design, Trump dreams of resetting the terms in our favor.

Trump has been highly critical of the 2016 trade deal, especially when he was a presidential candidate.

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