In reversal Trump calls for US to rejoin Trans-Pacific Partnership

WASHINGTON, In a major reversal of his past position, President Donald Trump on Thursday told administration officials Thursday to look into rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Trump withdrew the US from that multinational trade agreement shortly after taking office in early 2017. As a presidential candidate in 2016, Trump was highly critical of President Barack Obama for supporting US membership in the TPP.

Obama had touted the pact as a way to help the US counter the influence of China in global trade.

According to two Republican senators who attended a White House meeting Thursday morning on US agricultural issues, Trump instructed US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow to take action toward having the US rejoin the TPP.

On another major trade pact, Trump on Thursday said he has no timeline for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was created in 1994 and includes the US, Canada and Mexico.

“We’re renegotiating NAFTA, I have no timeline,” Trump said in remarks at the White House prior to the meeting. “In the meantime, nobody is moving into Mexico.

As long as NAFTA is in flux, no company is going to spend a billion dollars to build an automobile plant. I told the Mexicans we can negotiate forever.

As long as we have this negotiation going, nobody is going to build billion-dollar automobile plants.” “We’re getting pretty close to a deal,” Trump said. “It could be two weeks, it could be three months, it could be five months. I don’t care.

Source: Kuwait News Agency