Trump signs executive order to withdraw US from TPP

Mr Trump, who was sworn in as the 45th US President last Friday, targeted both the TPP and Nafta trade pacts during his election campaign.
Mr Trump, who was sworn in as the 45th US President last Friday, targeted both the TPP and Nafta trade pacts during his election campaign.PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON • Mr Donald Trump kicked off a hectic first full week as US President yesterday with the signing of executive orders to fulfil campaign promises.

One of the first orders he signed was for the United States to formally withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, a 12-nation agreement that Democratic former president Barack Obama strongly backed but was never ratified by the Republican- controlled Congress.

"We've been talking about this for a long time," Mr Trump said as he signed the executive order to withdraw from the TPP in the Oval Office. "Great thing for the American worker what we just did."

The action made good on a campaign vow to scrap the TPP, which he had denounced as a "job killer" and a "rape" of American interests.

The agreement, seen as a counter to China's rising economic influence, was promoted by the Obama administration and aimed to set trade rules for the 21st century. Although signed in 2015, it has not yet gone into effect.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a big supporter of the accord, has said that the TPP without the US would not make sense.

Mr Trump was also due yesterday to sign an executive order for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) with Canada and Mexico, which he has called the worst trade deal the United States has ever signed, NBC News reported, citing an unidentified White House official.

Mr Trump, who was sworn in as the 45th US President last Friday, targeted both the TPP and Nafta trade pacts during his election campaign.

Mr Trump said on Sunday that he planned to have talks soon with the leaders of Canada and Mexico to renegotiate Nafta. "We will be starting negotiations having to do with Nafta," he said at a swearing-in ceremony for top White House advisers.

"We are going to start renegotiating on Nafta, on immigration and on security at the border."

Mr Trump had said during the campaign that he wanted to secure more favourable terms for the US.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2017, with the headline 'Trump signs executive order to withdraw US from TPP'. Print Edition | Subscribe