President-elect Donald Trump has said the US will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal on his first day in the White House.
Trump made the announcement yesterday (21 November) in a video message posted on YouTube. “I am going to issue our notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country,” the president-elect said. “Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores.”
In the aftermath of Trump’s victory, the Obama administration appeared to have conceded the TPP trade deal, which was signed earlier this year but had still to be ratified, would not be pushed through in the lame-duck session of Congress before Trump is inaugurated in January.
According to The Guardian, The Democratic senator Chuck Schumer, who will be minority leader in the next Congress, is understood to have told union leaders the trade deal would not pass, while Senator Mitch McConnell, the chamber’s Republican majority leader, told reporters “no” when asked if Congress would consider the TPP.
During his campaign to be elected US president, Trump was openly critical of a number of trade deals either signed on set to be ratified by the US “I strongly oppose TPP as drafted and will work hard to develop trade agreements that are in the national interest and benefit American workers including our farmers,” the President-elect told the US Farm Bureau during the campaign.
The billionaire businessman said he would ditch the TPP, as well as renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and assume a tougher trade stance with China.
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The TPP had been broadly welcomed by food makers, with US meat, poultry and dairy sectors by-and-large approving of the increased access to overseas markets.
“In many parts of the world, food and agricultural products still face the legacy of high import barriers. We believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership will allow food to move more freely across borders from places of plenty to places of need, which benefits farmers and consumers around the world. Over time, the most successful countries have been those that embraced international trade. Modern trade agreements like the TPP will continue that trend, while also setting high standards for labour, human rights and sustainability,” Cargill chairman and CEO David MacLennan said earlier this year.
In the three-minute video yesterday, Trump made a brief comment on regulation. “I will formulate a role which says that, for every one new regulation, told old regulations must be eliminated. So important,” he said.