Trump says will withdraw from trans-pacific trade deal “on day one”

Trade deals such as TPP and the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement featured heavily in the White House race. The president-elect had vowed both to scuttle the TPP and renegotiate NAFTA.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US President-elect Donald Trump gestures as he arrives at the the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, US, November 19, 2016.

US President-elect Donald Trump said on Monday he would withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the day he assumes the presidency.

"On trade, I am going to issue our notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country," the US president-elect said in a video message outlining priorities for his first 100 days. 

"Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores."

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, or the TPP, was signed in February this year by the administration of US President Barack Obama after seven years of negotiations. Other signatory countries are: Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

The deal aims to boost trade by slashing tariffs and to create a new trading bloc along the lines of the European Union.

But Trump during his election campaign criticised the deal and successfully tapped the anger of working-class American voters who feel left behind by years of globalisation, vowing to protect American jobs against cheap labour in countries like China and Mexico.

Trade deals such as TPP and the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement featured heavily in the White House race. The president-elect had vowed both to scuttle the TPP and renegotiate NAFTA.

"My agenda will be based on a simple core principle: putting America first," he said.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman warned last week that scrapping the trans-Pacific trade deal would have "serious" strategic and economic costs.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the TPP trade deal would be meaningless without US participation.

No countries participating in the pact have delayed domestic approval efforts or abandoned the deal after the US presidential election earlier this month, Abe said during a news conference in Buenos Aires on Monday.

The TPP signatory countries nearly account for 40 percent of the global economy, according to US government estimates.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies