Trump Hints At Willingness To Rejoin TPP

donaldtrump1 041318

After withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in one of his first moves in the White House, President Donald Trump has suggested he may be willing to rejoin the massive trade deal.

Trump indicated in a post on Twitter late Thursday that he would only rejoin the TPP if the agreement reached under President Barack Obama is renegotiated.

"Would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama," Trump tweeted. "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!"

A statement from White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said Trump has asked U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow to look at whether a better deal can be negotiated.

"Last year, the President kept his promise to end the TPP deal negotiated by the Obama administration because it was unfair to American workers and farmers," Walters said.

She added, "The President has consistently said he would be open to a substantially better deal, including in his speech in Davos earlier this year."

Following a meeting with Trump on Thursday, Senator Ben Sasse, R-Neb., suggested that rejoining the TPP could help the U.S. in its trade dispute with China.

"The best thing the United States can do to push back against Chinese cheating now is to lead the other eleven Pacific nations that believe in free trade and the rule of law," Sasse said in a statement.

He continued, "It is good news that today the President directed Larry Kudlow and Ambassador Lighthizer to negotiate U.S. entry into TPP."

The U.S. may face some difficulty rejoining the TPP, however, as the eleven other nations in the pact signed a new agreement last month known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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