White House Explains Trump's Reversal on TPP

White House Explains Trump's Reversal on TPP

The TPP 11 countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. While the United States would significantly bolster the pact if it signed up, its entry would require intense negotiations - and current members will expect significant concessions from the American side.

"We welcome the U.S. coming back to the table but I don't see any wholesale appetite for any material re-negotiation of the TPP-11", Australia Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said Friday.

TPP is an ambitious trade agreement involving 12 countries. "The President has consistently said he would be open to a substantially better deal, including in his speech in Davos earlier this year", White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said. Still, negotiations with a group of longtime trading partners could hold appeal at a time of increasing tensions with China. "The President multiple times reaffirmed in general to all of us, and looked at Larry Kudlow, and said Larry go get it done", Sasse said after exiting a White House meeting with the President about trade and agriculture that he attended with several governors and congressional leaders who represent states that they say will be adversely impacted by the President's recently announced tariffs. He said the two countries ultimately may end up levying no new tariffs on each other. "So, it will be hard to take only parts of it and reopen negotiation, or change only parts of it". "There is a growing demand for US agricultural products around the world, and American farmers and manufacturers should be able to compete in these markets", Ernst said in a statement. The pact, which was conceived as a counterweight to China's rising economic power in the region, had been negotiated under the Obama administration but never approved by Congress. "Japan would like to listen to the U.S.'s view", said Suga, the Japanese official.

The news drew a rebuke from opponents of the multilateral trade pact.

Japan Finance Minister Taro Aso also welcomed the US' decision to explore the possibility of rejoining the CPTPP. But they also cautioned against making any significant changes.

Trump's reconsideration of an agreement he once denounced as a "rape of our country" caught even his closest advisers by surprise and came as his administration faces stiff pushback from Republican lawmakers, farmers and other businesses concerned that the President's threat of tariffs and other trade barriers will hurt them economically. It wants to toughen requirements for how much of the product is made within a participating country, which could make the goods less competitive.

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