April 13, 2018 – -President Donald Trump has asked trade officials to explore the possibility of the United States rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, a free trade deal he pulled out of during his first days in office as part of his “America first” agenda.
Trump directed Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, and Robert Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative, to “negotiate U.S. entry into TPP,” Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said. Trump said during a White House meeting Thursday with Midwest governors and lawmakers that he had “deputized” Lighthizer and Kudlow.
The negotiations would aim at reducing tariffs the 11 TPP nations levy on U.S. goods. TPP members include Japan, Mexico, Canada, Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Brunei and Singapore.
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts says Trump wants “to see if we couldn’t take another look at TPP.” Roberts says it would be “good news all throughout farm country.”
Trump withdrew from TPP in January 2017. The remaining TPP countries signed the pact in March of this year.