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Trump said to be reviewing Trans-Pacific Partnership in major trade U-turn

13 April, 2018, 01:47 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • U.S. President Donald Trump

Sen. Ben Basse, R-Neb., said it was "good news" Trump directed Kudlow and Lasse to reconsider joining the TPP.

"Clearly, it's a deliberative process and the President is a guy who likes to ... entertain a lot of different ideas", said Sasse, who has been critical of the administration's withdrawal from the trade deal and other protectionist moves. It would be aimed at opening US farmers to more overseas markets.

The apparent U-turn in Donald Trump's stance on the agreement was announced by Republican senators, following a meeting at the White House on Thursday.

Sasse spoke to reporters at the White House on Thursday after leaving a meeting on trade Trump held with governors and lawmakers from farm states.

Trump had lumped TPP into a group of agreements he opposed because of his general thought that the United States was getting a raw deal from other nations in trade. The US would reenter the deal if it was "substantially better", he told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Lawmakers have been pressing Trump to shift course after escalating trade threats, including China's plan to slap tariffs on soybeans and other US crops.




Trump signaled a possible reconsideration of the TPP back in January if its terms were more favorable.

The GOP political leaders are especially concerned about the impact trade retaliation from China could have on USA agriculture, which relies heavily on exports to China.

The EPA now bans the 15-percent blend, called E15, during the summer because of concerns that it contributes to smog on hot days. Farm state lawmakers have pushed for greater sales of the higher ethanol blend to boost demand for the corn-based fuel. Critics of the President's decision to pull the U.S. from the deal have argued that the United States would have more leverage in a trade dispute with China if the USA had remained in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The White House meetings came as an array of business executives and trade groups expressed concerns at a congressional hearing about the impact that tariffs will have on their business.

Kevin Kennedy, president of a steel fabrication business in Texas, said tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have led us steel producers to raise their prices by 40 per cent. It is bad enough to force US workers to compete with low-wage labor; they should not be forced to compete with no-wage labor. Trump campaigned on promises to bring down America's massive trade deficit - $566 billion USA previous year - by rewriting trade agreements and cracking down on what he called abusive practices by USA trading partners.

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