Trump signs executive order to withdraw US from TPP

Washington, Jan 24 (IANS) US President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order to officially withdraw US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

Trump called the move “a great thing for the American workers”, local media reported. “We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Xinhua news agency quoted Trump as saying as he signed the order.

The TPP, a free trade pact between 12 Asia-Pacific countries, was formally signed by ministers from these 12 countries in last February after more than five-year-long negotiation.

Trump’s action on Monday was considered as a symbolic move, as the US Congress hasn’t approved the deal yet. However, the move indicated that the new administration is actually shifting trade policies from previous US norms.

According to the trade strategy put forward by the Trump administration, the strategy starts by withdrawing from the TPP and renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The White House also said it will pursue trade deals which are in the interests of American workers and crack down on nations that violate trade agreements and harm American workers.

During his election campaign, Trump promised to never sign massive trade agreements like the TPP, which he said would “destroy” US manufacturing. He also vowed to renegotiate NAFTA and threatened to levy hefty tariffs on Mexico.

Trump said on Sunday that he would soon meet leaders of Mexico and Canada to discuss the renegotiation of NAFTA.

At a meeting with business leaders on Monday, Trump also said that the administration will impose “a very major border tax” on companies that are shifting production overseas.

International institutions, such as World Bank and International Monetary Fund, have warned that the inward-looking policy and protectionism could be a threat to global growth.

–IANS

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