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Donald Trump weighs USA rejoining Trans-Pacific Partnership

13 April 2018
Donald Trump weighs USA rejoining Trans-Pacific Partnership

US President Donald Trump has ordered top administration officials to "negotiate entry" back into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, the deal he pulled out of previous year, describing it as a "horrible" one.

During a trade meeting with Republican senators, Trump reportedly asked White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to take another look.

"Definitely the big headline coming out of this meeting is that the President said he was deputising Larry Kudlow and Ambassador Lighthizer to look at reentering the TPP negotiations", Sasse told reporters following a meeting at the White House.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping make joint statements at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.

"We should be leading TPP", Sasse said. "President Trump looked at Larry Kudlow and said, 'Get it done'".

Trump has never fully articulated what he opposed about the TPP, but he has shown a general reluctance to enter into multilateral trade deals because he believes these allow the United States to be ripped off. Sasse isn't sure whether Trump would actually reverse on the trade deal, but Politico reports that the president is hearing advice to reconsider the deal.

The move could mark the beginning of a stunning shift for Trump, who railed against the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the campaign and made withdrawal from the pact a priority during his first week in office.

"Just a continuing rape of our country". It's not clear what a better deal would look like or how the USA intends on renegotiating its way in.

Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said in a tweet on Thursday that the farm state senators who attended the meeting had each expressed concerns about "nervousness among farmers" because of Chinese retaliation. It would be aimed at opening USA farmers to more overseas markets.

In February, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the USA was interested in re-entering the trade agreement, but he quickly backed off those comments, making it sound like a deal would not materialise.