Sunday, 22 April, 2018

The US may have missed its chance to rejoin the TPP

New Zealand Wary Of Trump's Pacific Trade U-Turn President Trump May Want the US to Rejoin the TPP. But It Won't Be So Simple
Faye Gross | 15 April, 2018, 00:22

Other countries may balk if the USA wants to add those conditions back into the TPP.

"Would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama", he wrote Thursday.

In a striking reversal, U.S. President Donald Trump has asked trade officials to explore the possibility of the United States rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a free trade deal he pulled out of during his first days in office as part of his "America First" agenda.

Obama took the weak market and turned it completely around, and Obama did it with the Republicans saying they were going to make Obama a one-term president.

Both Democrats and Republicans attacked the deal during the presidential campaign, but many business leaders were disappointed when Trump withdrew from the agreement, arguing that the United States would end up with less favorable terms attempting to broker an array of individual trade pacts and that scrapping the deal would empower China.

Japan's trade minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, warned that it would be hard to renegotiate, saying TPP is a well-balanced agreement based on the varying interests of the signatory nations.

Mr Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said in an interview on Thursday with The New York Times that the request to revisit the deal was somewhat spontaneous.

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New Zealand already has a separate trade deal with the world's second-largest economy, China.

In remarks on Thursday he also expressed optimism about a deal with China, a week after escalating tensions with his threat to impose tariffs on an additional US$100 billion in Chinese products. This will include the countries in TPP, which are very important. But, that also depends on how the negotiations move forward.

The S&P 500 Index closed up 0.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added nearly 300 points, or 1.2%, as investors assessed the changing trade dynamics. For instance, ranchers in Australia can send beef to Japan more cheaply than ranchers in the US.

The pact, which was conceived as a counterweight to Beijing's rising economic power in the region, had been negotiated under the administration of former US president Barack Obama, but never approved by US Congress.

An early test of the potential for the United States to rejoin could come as soon as next week, when Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister and an ardent champion of the pact, is to meet with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Negotiating a new pact could take years.

The news infuriated labor unions and many working-class supporters of the president.

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