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Senators Urge Trump to Rejoin TPP

22 February 2018

The final version of a landmark deal aimed at cutting trade barriers in some of Asia-Pacific's fastest-growing economies was released on Wednesday, signalling the pact was a step closer to reality even without its star member the United States.

"Increased economic engagement with the 11 nations now in TPP has the potential to substantially improve the competitiveness of United States businesses and support millions of U.S. jobs".

The destiny of the trade pact was cast into doubt late past year after Trump pulled the US out.

But the most recent analysis of the new TPP - known by the acronym CPTPP - predicts lower USA imports into Canada.

More than two-dozen Republican senators on Tuesday released a letter they sent to President Donald Trump, requesting the president reengage on talks to join one of the world's largest trade agreements.

Trump has until mid-April to decide what to do about steel and aluminum, a separate issue from TPP, but numerous nations involved in TPP would be impacted by USA tariffs on steel.

"I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal", Trump said in an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The deal was bad. the way it was structured was awful. With the United States, it would have represented 40 percent.

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At a news conference yesterday, US Senator Deb Fischer was asked about the President rejoining TPP.

Huh. I wonder what finally prompted so many of them to do this?

The 11 nations in the CPTPP are Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

"The strategy that we put in place in Government with the other TPP countries was to do the deal, hold back a lot of the things the U.S. wanted to entice them back to the party".

Trump recently imposed tariffs on washing machines and solar energy equipment and said he may slap "substantial tariffs" on imports of steel and aluminum.

Parker said people's broader economic concerns like the concentration of wealth, multinational tax avoidance and disruptive technology often got unfairly wrapped into the free-trade debate. It will be updated next month with more details of side letters that will be signed along with the agreement. "TPP would have lowered agriculture tariffs in a couple of countries where they had been high".

If CPTPP went ahead without New Zealand, the document estimates there would be a $183 million decline in GDP due to the erosion of New Zealand's place in regional supply chains, the favoured status of competitors' exports, and the diversion of investment to other CPTPP countries.

Senators Urge Trump to Rejoin TPP