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Trump ends plans of rejoining the Trans-Pacific Trade Pact

20 April 2018

On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that he doesn't "like" the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, which he withdrew the United States from soon after taking office. New Zealand's Trade Minister says his country isn't blind to the benefits of trading with the world's largest economy.

- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to create a new framework to discuss trade issues between Japan and the United States during their second-day talks in Palm Beach, Fla., on Wednesday. It was a signature trade policy of President Barack Obama, but he was unable to secure Congressional support for the deal.

President Trump has again turned his back on a trade agreement with nations including Canada, Japan and Australia.

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The partnership originally involved the US when it was created in February of 2016.

Trump spent the 2016 presidential campaign ripping into the multi-national pact, saying he could get a better deal for USA businesses by negotiating one-on-one with countries in the Pacific Rim.

Now, Trump's clarification that the US would not rejoin the TTP comes at a time when he is hosting the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago and talks between the two leaders are expected to focus on trade and other issues. I don't think he's medically unfit to be president.

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Pat Roberts, of Kansas and Ben Sasse of Nebraska told reporters after a White House meeting on agriculture that Mr. Trump himself had tasked his chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow and the U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer to find a way back into the pact. "Look how bad WTO is to United States". "I don't think he is", said Kudlow, without ruling it out.

"Putting it simply, joining TPP is the best way to avoid a potentially devastating loss of wheat sales to Japan", said USW Chairman Michael Miller, a wheat farmer from Ritzville, Washington. But if they offered us a deal I can't refuse on behalf of the USA, I would do it.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had said at the time that while he would encourage the U.S. to rejoin the TPP, he didn't see "any prospect of that". He also said that the USA is "buying a lot of cars and a lot of other things from Japan". Japan had helped play a leading role in advancing the CPTPP trade deal with the 11 remaining members, following the USA withdrawal.

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However, Kudlow asserted that Trump's thinking is far more nuanced. The president has been scheduled to play with golf with Abe.

Trump ends plans of rejoining the Trans-Pacific Trade Pact