Trump asks advisors to study USA re-entering trans-Pacific trade deal negotiations

13 April, 2018, 02:28 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • President Trump

If the USA were to reenter the TPP, it would be a remarkable about-face for Trump, who repeatedly blasted the trade pact during his 2016 presidential campaign. Now, faced with political consequences of the action, Trump appears to be reconsidering.

Then-President Barack Obama worked on the TPP for two years.

During a meeting with Republican senators on Thursday Trump reportedly said he had asked Larry Kudlow, his national economic council chairman, and the United States trade representative Robert Lighthizer to take another look at the pact - a deal he once called Republicans "stupid" for endorsing.

Trump's request follows him imposing new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, and nearly starting a trade war with China through additional tariffs. He said China's theft of intellectual property has inflicted serious damage to US companies and threatens the country's future economic outlook. 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. Trump frequently equivocates on policy when faced with opposition, only to reverse course later.

"He multiple times reaffirmed the point that TPP might be easier to join now", said Sasse, a Nebraska Republican who participated in the meeting with Trump. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said after the meeting.

Trump and his national security team will have "a number of meetings" on a potential response to the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria, the president said earlier Thursday. He has not said precisely what provisions he would want changed.

An agreement could be completed within a few weeks or five months, he said, adding "I don't care". "This will include the countries in TPP, which are very important".

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

Kevin Kennedy, president of a steel fabrication business in Texas, said tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have led USA steel producers to raise their prices by 40 per cent.

"I have to believe President Xi is smiling all the way to regional domination as a result of our pulling out of TPP".

His decision to pull out of the agreement, one of his first moves as president, was blasted by Republicans who said it put the a disadvantage to China on the global stage.

But it's just that kind of trade deal with Pacific countries that would better confront China and its unfair trade practices, Sen.

Little more than a year later, Trump reportedly wants back in. Agriculture and the business services industry would see gains, but manufacturing output and employment would decrease slightly under TPP.

The announcement was welcomed by lawmakers from some farming states. "We're going to raise it up to 15 percent". Gasoline typically contains 10 percent ethanol. Farm-state lawmakers fear that would reduce demand for the biofuels and violate the RFS law. Still, there were some supporters, too.



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