Donald Trump Walks Back Eagerness to Rejoin TPP; Demands 'Better Deal'

Media Trump considering return to TPP

The remaining 11 countries have spent months renegotiating a pact that lacks the US market and finally agreed to a sweeping multinational deal this year.

"As I have said, the United States is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial, bilateral trade agreements with all countries".

But Mr. Trump on Thursday insisted he will only rejoin TPP with a better deal. He took a shot at longtime ally Japan in a late-night tweet Thursday clarifying his stance on the TPP, saying the nation "has hit us hard on trade for years!"

Some TPP countries responded cautiously to Trump's rethink.

On talks with Canada and Mexico to revamp Nafta, Trump said negotiations are "coming along great", though he added there's no timeline to reach a deal.

So the usual swarm of asterisks applies.

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Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, who also attended the meeting, said afterwards that she had urged the President to reconsider negotiating the TPP because of concerns by constituents about the tariffs. Washington was able to negotiate favorable deals in exchange for exemptions from the steel and aluminum tariffs for its partners who demonstrated good faith. Meeting with Senators and other leaders from the Midwest, President Trump heard of the troubles his trade policy is posing to agriculture, and the benefits of TPP to farmers and ranchers. One of his first official moves in office was a formal withdrawal from the deal penned under Obama. If we can find a way to join this trade agreement, it will go a long way toward helping protect the incomes of every American wheat farmer.

"The real strategy we need is to lead all of those rule of law nations in the Pacific who would rather be aligned with the USA than with China".

He says the US administration does not have a position on rejoining the agreement - it's merely exploring the possibility. China's government has denied President Xi Jinping's promises this week to cut import tariffs on cars and open China's markets wider were intended as an overture to settle a tariff dispute with Washington.

Comparing the multicountry trade agreement to "a glasswork", Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, cautioned against any efforts to change it to accommodate Trump. The other nations are likely reluctant to upset all that work just to accommodate the U.S. The TPP member nations have spent the 15 months since the country's exit renegotiating the deal and signed a massive multinational deal this year. It could be a way to assuage American farmers and businesses hurt by Chinese tariffs by assuring robust markets for US products in countries that signed onto the deal, like Japan, Australia and South Korea.

The president has previously criticised the deal as a potential "disaster".

The United States on Friday blamed the Syrian government for a deadly chemical weapons attack this month and slammed Russian Federation for failing to stop its ally, President Bashar al-Assad, as Western allies considered military strikes on Syria.

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