Trump signs order withdrawing US from Trans-Pacific trade deal

President Donald Trump signed three orders on withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, freezing the hiring of federal workers and hitting foreign NGOs that help with abortion.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US President Donald Trump signs an executive order on US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, January 23, 2017.

Updated Jan 24, 2017

President Donald Trump signed an executive order formally withdrawing the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on Monday, following through on a promise from his campaign last year.

In an Oval Office ceremony, Trump also signed an order imposing a federal hiring freeze and a directive banning US non-governmental organisations that perform abortions from receiving federal funding.

"We've been talking about this for a long time," the US president said as he signed the executive order to withdraw from the TPP. "Great thing for the American worker what we just did."

TRT World's Arabella Munro gives more details.

Earlier in November, after winning the elections, Trump had said he would withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the day he assumes the presidency.

While making the announcement in a video message outlining priorities for the first 100 days of his presidency, he said after withdrawing "we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores."

Meanwhile, White House spokesperson Sean Spicer defended his statement that President Donald Trump's inauguration was the most-watched ever, citing viewership on television and other media and insisting that "our intention is never to lie to you."

"I believe that we have to be honest with the American people. I think sometimes we can disagree with the facts," Spicer said at a news briefing. "I'm going to come out here and tell you the facts as I know them. And if we make a mistake, we'll do our best to correct it," he added.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer holds a press briefing at the White House in Washington January 23, 2017. (Reuters)

Spicer had been sharply criticised for his comments on Saturday by media, which noted photographs from former President Barack Obama's first inauguration showed much larger crowds than Trump drew on Friday.

The White House spokesperson also said that Trump has resigned from the Trump Organization, and his sons Don Jr. and Eric are in charge of the business.

TRTWorld and agencies