United States President Donald Trump has removed all hope that the US will rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), using Twitter to reject the trade deal on Tuesday.
"Too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn't work. Bilateral deals are far more efficient, profitable and better for OUR workers. Look how bad WTO is to U.S."
Trump had asked US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and new chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow to examine re-entering the free trade agreement and "take another look at whether or not a better deal could be negotiated" after facing the consequences of starting a trade war with China last month that could impact American exports.
The original TPP had been signed in February 2016 by the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Brunei, and Chile, but was then dumped by Trump on his first week in office in favour of bilateral trade deals that promote his "America first" protectionist policy, despite warnings that he risked "abdicating" trade leadership in the Asia-Pacific region to China.
Previous President Barack Obama's administration had repeatedly warned Congress prior to Trump's election that not approving the TPP would risk trade rival China pushing through its own Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)