Trump tweets he’s open to re-entering TPP ‘if the deal were substantially better’ than Obama’s


President Donald Trump is pictured. | AP Photo

The announcement from President Donald Trump earned a warm reception from many Republicans, the party that has traditionally strongly backed free-trade policies. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo

President Donald Trump said Thursday he would be open to rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal he railed against on the 2016 campaign trail, but only if the agreement was renegotiated to feature better terms for the U.S.

“Would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama,” Trump wrote on Twitter late Thursday night. “We already have BILATERAL deals with six of the eleven nations in TPP, and are working to make a deal with the biggest of those nations, Japan, who has hit us hard on trade for years!”

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After years of slamming the TPP, Trump told a group of farm-state lawmakers and governors that he had instructed his economic adviser Larry Kudlow and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday to consider whether rejoining the trade pact makes sense.

The announcement from Trump earned a warm reception from many Republicans, the party that has traditionally strongly backed free-trade policies.

That the president might reconsider TPP marked a significant about-face, especially amid his steps in recent weeks to threaten significant tariffs on China as part of an effort to reset the economic relationship between the two nations. China, for its part, has threatened retaliatory tariffs that would impose significant import taxes on major U.S. exports, including soybeans, cars, aircraft and chemicals, sparking fears of a looming trade war between the U.S. and China.

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