WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - President Donald Trump again soured on the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership ahead of planned trade talks on Wednesday (April 18) with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“While Japan and South Korea would like us to go back into TPP, I don’t like the deal for the United States,” Mr Trump wrote. “Too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn’t work. Bilateral deals are far more efficient, profitable and better for OUR workers. Look how bad WTO is to US,” he said referring to the World Trade Organisation.
Last week, Mr Trump directed US officials to explore returning to the TPP.
While his comments were welcomed by members of the trade bloc, ministers from countries including Japan, Australia and Malaysia said they opposed renegotiation of the deal to accommodate the US should it decide to rejoin at a later date.
Mr Abe has been a strong proponent of the TPP.
Before leaving for the talks in Florida, he told reporters in Tokyo that Japan and the US should “take the lead on growing the economy of the Indo-Pacific through free and fair trade and investment".
The yen declined against all of its Group-of-10 peers on early signs the Trump-Abe meetings won’t see new trade demands from the US.
As for South Korea: While the nation isn’t in the TPP, it may look to become a member should the US decide to recommit, Bloomberg Law reported on Tuesday, citing a trade ministry official, who was not authorised to be cited.