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Trump Directs Cabinet to Look Into Rejoining TPP Trade Agreement

Trump Directs Cabinet to Look Into Rejoining TPP Trade Agreement”

Trump railed against the original TPP and other multilateral trade deals throughout the 2016 campaign, arguing that poorly negotiated trade agreements destroyed USA jobs.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse says Trump said during a White House meeting with Midwest governors and lawmakers that he had "deputized" USA trade representative Robert Lighthizer and economic adviser Larry Kudlow to look into the US rejoining the TPP.

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country", Trump said in June 2016.

President Donald Trump instructed his top advisors to begin exploring how the USA could join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Thursday, just one year after abandoning the trade pact he'd blasted throughout his presidential campaign as a "horrible deal" and a "disaster".

The Trump administration says it has ordered the Agriculture Department to create a program to help farmers hurt by trade. The remaining countries still ratified a version of the TPP without the United States earlier this year. "I don't think we can get back into the TPP soon enough", Johnson said when talking to reporters about the trip.

Rejoining the pact would be a major reversal as Trump escalates a trade conflict with China. But farm organizations, the Greater Des Moines Partnership and many other groups supported the agreement as critical to opening markets for grain, meat and other products.

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.

In January, Mr. Trump told CNBC in an interview in Davos, Switzerland that he "would do TPP, if we made a much better deal than we had".

The president has mused publicly about rejoining the deal before, suggesting he would re-enter if he could negotiate more favorable terms. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), a free trade advocate who was not at the White House meeting. Gasoline typically contains 10 percent ethanol. "We're going to work out something during the transition period, which is not easy, very complicated", Trump said.

The White House meetings came as an array of business executives and trade groups expressed concerns at a congressional hearing about the impact that tariffs will have on their business.

Associated Press writers Catherine Lucey, Jill Colvin and Matthew Daly in Washington and James MacPherson in Bismarck, North Dakota, contributed.



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