Trump proposes rejoining TPP trade deal

WASHINGTON, US President Donald Trump said he would only join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if offered a “substantially better” deal than the one offered to the previous administration.

In a statement released late Thursday, the President tweeted, “Would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama. We already have BILATERAL deals with six of the eleven nations in TPP, and are working to make a deal with the biggest of those nations, Japan, who has hit us hard on trade for years.” The TPP is the largest regional trade accord in history. It is considered a hallmark of the Obama administration, which had negotiated the multilateral trade pact for nearly eight years. The TPP brought together the US and 11 other nations in a free-trade zone for about 40 percent of the world’s economy. It was intended to lower tariffs while establishing rules for resolving trade disputes, setting patents and protecting intellectual property.

However, shortly after taking office in early 2017, Trump withdrew from that TPP deeming it a “disaster.” Earlier Thursday, Republican senators said the president, in a sharp reversal, directed top economic officials to look into rejoining the TPP, which 11 other Pacific Rim nations signed in March.

Trump’s late night tweet echoes a White House statement earlier in the day, which said Trump would only re-enter TPP if the deal was made “substantially” better.

Source: Kuwait News Agency