Asia cautious about possible Trump rethink on trade deal

Media Trump considering return to TPP

Thursday evening, the president further clarified his desired conditions for re-entering the agreement via Twitter, saying he would only rejoin if the deal was "substantially better" than the one negotiated by President Obama.

President Trump said in a late-night tweet Thursday that he will only rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership he backed out of previous year if the deal is "substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama", after lawmakers on Thursday said the president is considering reentering the deal.

New Zealand already has a separate trade deal with the world's second-largest economy, China. Several negotiation stakeholders told the New York Times that they'd be unwilling to bend to the USA upon re-entry into the deal.

They have said the administration should be working with other countries to pressure China, instead of wielding tariffs that invite retaliation on industries such as agriculture.

Both Democrats and Republicans attacked the deal during the presidential campaign, but many business leaders were disappointed when Trump withdrew from the agreement, arguing that the United States would end up with less favorable terms attempting to broker an array of individual trade pacts and that scrapping the deal would empower China. "I think they want to".

"The Trump administration would have had a strong hand if it had insisted on renegotiating TPP when the president took office in January 2017", Alden said. She says mixed signals from the administration could cause problems. Asian stocks climbed as equities in Japan and Australia advanced.

Senator Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican who participated in a meeting with Trump on Thursday where he spoke about rejoining the deal, said: "He multiple times reaffirmed the point that TPP might be easier to join now".

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Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP during his first week in office.

Eleven countries signed the agreement last month.

The deal, negotiated by the Obama administration, was largely intended as a tool to prod China into making economic changes that the USA and others have long wanted. Ratification of the CPTPP is expected this spring, and the trade partners could consider adding new members not long after.

"You'd need a whole renegotiation", he said.

American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations president Richard Trumka said on Twitter that the TPP "was killed because it failed America's workers and it should remain dead".

The 11 remaining nations represent 13 percent of global output and include Japan and Canada.

One of the White House officials said that while the president prefers negotiating bilateral trade deals, a multilateral deal with the TPP countries would counter Chinese competition and would be faster than negotiating one-on-one with each of the 11 other nations.

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