Trump dumps Trans-Pacific Partnership . . . again

President Trump’s ‘Team’ to Review TPP Agreement

U.S. President Donald Trump says he would prefer a bilateral trade deal with Japan instead of rejoining an 11-nation Pacific Rim trade pact.

The US-Japan leaders' meeting, which ultimately saw the two sides pledge to hold deeper discussions on future trade cooperation, including on trade agreements, also drew additional scrutiny given recent conflicting statements from Trump on whether the US might ask to negotiate re-entry into a regional trade deal involving Japan.

"Unless they offer us a deal that we can not refuse, I would not go back into TPP", he said. He moved this "it has to take USA interest for us to choose a second look and go in it".

Last year, when Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, he proposed a bilateral trade deal with Japan in its place.

Kudlow addressed reporters in West Palm Beach, Florida, ahead of a highly anticipated working meeting between President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is one of the 12 original signatories to the agreement. I think it's better for our workers. 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".

Last week, Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House's National Economic Council, explained that he was pulling together a team to begin renegotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying, "This whole trade thing has exploded".

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"If the United States isn't a part of it then that is good for Australia. because it means our Australian beef farmers are getting much market access than U.S. beef farmers", the minister said.

NFF CEO Tony Mahar said a new style of TPP agreement had been reached - minus the United States - which was one his national peak farm lobby group and the Australian agriculture sector had been a strong supporter of. The US has been calling for launching bilateral trade talks with the Asian economic giant, with the hopes of getting market access gains in the fields of agriculture and automobiles, among other objectives, but Japan remains non-committal towards the prospect of a bilateral deal.

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However, Kudlow asserted that Trump's thinking is far more nuanced.

On the other hand, during this four-day visit Abe has a special interest in getting an exemption for Japan from the 10 per cent and 25 per cent tariffs that the Trump administration imposes on aluminum and steel imports, respectively.

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