Yesterday President Trump made major news after telling his National Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow to explore ways the United States could reenter the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a way to blunt China's economic ambitions.
“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," White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said Thursday afternoon. "The President has consistently said he would be open to a substantially better deal, including in his speech in Davos earlier this year. To that end, he has asked Amb. Lighthizer and Director Kudlow to take another look at whether or not a better deal could be negotiated."
Friday morning, President Trump expanded on the conditions for getting back into TPP.
Would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama. 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
As mention by Walters, during his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January Trump made a similar point.
“As I have said, the United States is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial, bilateral trade agreements with all countries. This will include the countries in TPP, which are very important," he said. "We have agreements with several of them already. We would consider negotiating with the rest, either individually, or perhaps as a group, if it is in the interests of all.”
Republican lawmakers on the Capitol Hill praised the president's reconsideration of the trade agreement as China continues to target and increase tariffs on farm products from the center of the United States.