Trump pulls support for Trans-Pacific Partnership for 2nd time

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Trans Pacific Partnership in his first week in office

Japan, Australia, and New Zealand were cautious in their reaction to the news that U.S. President Trump might reopen talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). However, Trump, who criticized the TPP among other agreements during his election campaign, withdrew the country from the deal days after becoming president in January 2017, arguing that poorly negotiated trade agreements were harmful to United States job market.

"Too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn't work", Trump tweeted. "Look how bad WTO is to U.S".

Last week, the President said the USA would only rejoin the TPP if the terms offered in the deal "were substantially better" than those offered to his predecessor Barack Obama.

Last week, Mr Trump directed United States officials to explore returning to the TPP.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had said at the time that while he would encourage the USA to rejoin the TPP, he didn't see "any prospect of that".

Trump, who is in an aggressive mood on trade this year and has taken a ruthless stand to protect America's trade interests especially against China, asked his trade advisers to assess the TPP afresh.

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The New York Times said some experts expressed confusion over Trump mentioning South Korea since it it's not a member of the trade pact. The US president's latest tweet "shows that Trump still does not understand the agreement", she added.

Last week, Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House's National Economic Council, explained that he was pulling together a team to begin renegotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying, "This whole trade thing has exploded".

Japan has said it would be willing to enter a one-on-one deal only if it would serve as a bridge to the United States' re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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"[Mnuchin] is going to have to figure out the right balance", Hormats said.

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