Trump in Vietnam: US will not 'be taken advantage of anymore'

Trump in Vietnam: US will not 'be taken advantage of anymore'
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President Trump on Friday laid out his "America first" trade agenda in Asia, delivering a denunciation of the "unfair" multilateral trade agreements that he said undermine the United States' "sovereignty" and economic power.

Speaking to a gathering of CEOs on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam, Trump vowed to strike bilateral trade agreements "with any Indo-Pacific nation that wants to be our partner and that will abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade."

"From this day forward, we will compete on a fair and equal basis. We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore," he said. "I am always going to put America first the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first.

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"What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty, and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible."

The address homed in on a familiar theme for Trump, who was in part elected on a platform of renegotiating trade deals that he claims have caused American jobs to move overseas and made U.S. business less competitive.

But the multilateral agreements that Trump has denounced have largely been embraced in the Asia-Pacific.

In his first days in office, Trump withdrew the United States' intent to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a far-reaching trade deal with 11 other countries in the Pacific that was touted by former President Obama.

Trade ministers from the 11 countries that remain in the deal reached a tentative agreement on a framework for the TPP that doesn't involve the U.S.

Leaders of those countries were set to sign the landmark agreement on Friday. But the future of the TPP was cast into uncertainty again after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would not attend the signing, according to multiple reports