WASHINGTON: Donald Trump on Monday announced the United States would signal its withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal on his first day in the White House, as one of six immediate steps aimed at “putting America first.”
The Republican billionaire – who for 10 days has been sounding out cabinet picks at his Trump Tower offices in New York – made the pledge in a short video message.
The 70-year-old property tycoon outlined a list of priorities for his first 100 days and executive actions to be taken “on day one” – on half a dozen issues from trade to immigration, national security and ethics – in a push to “reform Washington and rebuild our middle class.”
“My agenda will be based on a simple core principle: putting America first,” said the president-elect, whose victorious campaign tapped the anger of working-class Americans who feel left behind by globalisation, singling out trade deals such as the TPP as key culprits.
“On trade, I am going to issue our notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country,” said Trump, who takes office January 20.
“Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores,” he said.
Both the 12-nation TPP and the North American Free Trade Agreement featured heavily in the brutal White House race – accused of harming the US economy and jobs – and many see Trump’s victory as a repudiation of ever-deeper commercial ties.
Pact meaningless without US: Japan
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be meaningless without US participation, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday as US President-elect Donald Trump said he would withdraw the United States from the pan-Pacific free trade deal.
Abe, who attended a gathering of TPP leaders in Lima on Saturday, said there was no discussion at the meeting that other members should try to put the TPP into effect without the United States, Abe told reporters in Buenos Aires.
“The TPP would be meaningless without the United States,” Abe said.
Trump released a video on Monday laying out actions he would take on his first day in office on Jan. 20, including withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Trump campaigned for the US presidency on a promise to pull out of the 12-nation trade deal, calling it a job-killing “disaster.”
Abe, who met Russian President Vladimir Putin last week to discuss economic cooperation and a decades-old territorial row, stressed at the Buenos Aires news conference his resolve to put an end to the island dispute under his leadership.
“This is the problem that cannot be solved without the relationship of trust between leaders,” Abe said.
“I will be directly communicating with President Putin and make progress one solid step at a time.”
The territorial row over the chain of western Pacific islands, seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War Two, has upset diplomatic ties ever since, precluding a formal peace treaty between Tokyo and Moscow.