Trump asks advisors to study United States re-entering trans-Pacific trade deal negotiations

NICHOLAS KAMM

Japan minister: Good to have US back in TPP but path of return tough (VIDEO)

Trump is seeking to reassure the lawmakers on proposed China tariffs. "Undoubtedly, a TPP that includes the US would be stronger and more formidable than one that does not".

Trump's decision to consider a return to the trade deal comes as the United States and China trade escalating tariffs on products such as Chinese steel and electronics, and USA aluminum and food products.

But at a time of increasing tensions over trade between the U.S. and China, revising a deal he once argued was "pushed by special interests who want to rape our country" could offer the United States greater leverage in negotiations with Beijing.

The president has mused publicly about rejoining the deal before, suggesting he would re-enter if he could negotiate more favorable terms.

During his first week in office, Trump withdrew the USA from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. "The deal was awful".

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.

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The president says China has consistently treated US agriculture unfairly and his administration is "changing things with respect to trade".

Reuters reported that Trump talked of lifting the summertime ban on E15, which is limited due to concerns about smog. Gasoline typically contains 10 percent ethanol.

He criticized the idea of using government welfare payments to farmers to help them survive threatening tariffs from China. But some key senators oppose the approach. We do not want another subsidy program. 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.

Kevin Kennedy, president of a steel fabrication business in Texas, said tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have led USA steel producers to raise their prices by 40 per cent. "Increased economic engagement with the 11 nations now in TPP has the potential to substantially improve the competitiveness of US businesses, support millions of U.S.jobs, increase USA exports, increase wages, fully unleash America's energy potential, and benefit consumers".

Representatives for chemical manufacturers and soybean farmers also expressed their concerns to the House ways and means committee, which is examining the impact of the tariffs.

China has countered by announcing its own set of tariffs on USA products. Some signatories, however, agreed to rework it without the USA and it re-emerged this January under the name, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). He said China's theft of intellectual property has inflicted serious damage to USA companies and threatens the country's future economic outlook.

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