Trump Says U.S. Could Rejoin TPP if Deal Improved. How Hard Would It Be?

Courtesy of The New York Times. By Reuters

SINGAPORE/WELLINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he would reconsider joining the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, if it were a “substantially better” deal than the one offered to President Barack Obama.

Here is a look at the state of play in the negotiations and the conditions needed to be in place for the United States to join an agreement Trump scrapped as soon as he took office.

WHAT ARE THE TPP AND CPTPP?

The original 12-member agreement was known as the TPP. It was a signature trade policy of Obama, but he was unable to secure Congressional support for the deal. It was thrown into limbo when Trump withdrew from the deal three days after his inauguration in January 2017, a move he said was aimed at protecting U.S. jobs.

Following the U.S. withdrawal, the remaining 11 countries renegotiated parts of the TPP, removing some of Washington’s demands. In March, they signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), also known as TPP-11.

The trade deal becomes effective when ratified by six of the signatories. It will reduce tariffs in countries that together amount to more than 13 percent of the global economy – a total of $10 trillion (£7.01 trillion) in gross domestic product. With the United States, it would have represented 40 percent.

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