White House considers re-joining Pacific trade pact

Updated:2018-04-13 09:22:53

  WASHINGTON - The White House is considering re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade pact that President Donald Trump pulled the United States out last year.

  "It is good news that today the President directed Larry Kudlow and Ambassador Lighthizer to negotiate US entry into TPP," said Republican Senator Ben Sasse in a statement after a meeting with Trump on Thursday.

  The White House had no official announcement on this issue yet.

  According to local media reports, Trump on Thursday told a group of lawmakers at the meeting which Sasse also attended that he has directed the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow to study the possibility of re-entering the TPP if the terms are favorable.

  During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump called TPP a "disaster". He pulled the United States out of the Pacific trade deal in January last year, one of his first moves as president.

  Earlier this year, the remaining 11 TPP nations, including Japan and Canada, announced they struck an alternative agreement without the United States.

  Although the United States has withdrawn from the TPP, Trump has signaled his interest in reconsidering the trade deal.

  In January this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump told CNBC during an interview that "I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal."

  Trump in February also suggested he was open to the trade pact during a news conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.