- At Sea
- Contact Us
Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
President Donald Trump has withdrawn the United States from the 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal as he starts his first full week in office.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership had been negotiated since 2009 during former President Barack Obama’s White House tenure, but the U.S. Congress never ratified it, with numerous lawmakers opposed to or skeptical of the deal. It would have covered trade with Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Chile, Canada, Mexico and four other countries.
The TPP would have been the biggest regional trade deal in history, covering nearly 40 percent of the world’s economy and about a third of world trade. China didn’t take part in the talks, but appears ready to step into the vacuum and create its own deals with Southeast Asian countries that would have been part of the 12-nation agreement.
In advocating for the deal, Obama said last year, “We can’t let countries like China write the rules of the global economy. We should write those rules.”
But Trump, who took office last Friday, assailed globalization of the world’s economy throughout his long run to the White House, saying U.S. multi-national trade deals cost American workers their jobs as their employers moved operations overseas in search of cheaper labor.
Trump has pushed for bilateral deals between the U.S. and individual countries that had agreed to the broader pact.
Even before announcing his run for the presidency a year and a half ago, Trump said, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an attack on America’s business. It does not stop Japan’s currency manipulation. This is a bad deal.”
The agreement would have cut more than 18,000 tariffs, including on all U.S. manufactured goods and almost all American farm products. The deal sought to end exploitative child labor and set acceptable work conditions on minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health.
The new president said in a Twitter comment that his first week would be busy, “planned with a heavy focus on jobs and national security.” He met Monday morning with top executives from U.S. manufacturers and later in the day has a White House meeting set with union leaders and a contingent of workers.
At the start of the meeting with the business leaders, Trump assured them of his intent to streamline government.
“The regulations are going to be cut massively and the taxes way down,” he said.