Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

US to take another look at Pacific trade pact that Trump quashed

US to take another look at Pacific trade pact that Trump quashed

President Trump, in a sharp reversal, told a gathering of farm state lawmakers and governors on Thursday morning that the United States was looking into rejoining a multicountry trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal he pulled out of days after assuming the presidency.

During opening statements at Thursday's meeting before he shooed out reporters, Trump assured the lawmakers that he intends to negotiate better trade deals for the American farmer in the face of threatened new Chinese tariffs and contentious negotiations with Canada and Mexico.

The president told the group of lawmakers he has concluded it might be easier for the United States to join TPP after its other 11 members have finished their negotiations, with the US then joining as the 12th member.

Trump has ostensibly begun to appreciate that case.

US President Donald Trump has asked his top economic advisors to explore the possibility of rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

During his election campaign in 2016, Trump was frequently skeptical of the value of multilateral trade pacts, arguing instead that bilateral deals could offer better terms. "Just a continuing rape of our country".

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". Now, suddenly, the president that has railed against trade pacts featuring the US and more than one other partner is considering joining TPP.

Trump is seeking to reassure the lawmakers on proposed China tariffs. The move could hurt Midwestern farmers, many of whom are strong supporters of the president. There was a conflation that went on where it was said this is a trade deal with China. The deal included the US and 11 other countries along the Pacific Ocean, including: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Almost two-thirds of US soybean exports go to China.

Sasse represents a Midwestern farm state.

But a spokesman for China's commerce ministry said the United States is not showing any sincerity and that China will not hesitate to fight back if the USA escalates trade tensions.

And while President Xi Jinping hinted that he may be willing to concede of some of Trump's demands, US farmers remain on edge over worries of potential tariffs on American agricultural imports.

Although many approached his remarks with skepticism. rejoining TPP would mark a reversal on the tenants that Trump ran under which accounted for some of the working class appeal for votes stating that the deals ripped of the USA and hurt American workers and manufacturing.

"TPP would address so many issues, such as environmental, worker rights, public procurement, trade unions", Hauskrecht says. "A USA -alone action. that's not going to solve the real problems that we have".

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