Kudlow downplays US rejoining TPP talks

Kudlow downplays US rejoining TPP talks
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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Tuesday downplayed the possibility that the U.S. would rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE pulled out of last year. 
 
"On the American side at the moment, it’s more of a thought than a policy,” Kudlow told reporters.
 
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Kudlow said there “are discussions and considerations” about re-entering TPP talks, but cautioned “there is nothing at all concrete.”
 
The top economic aide spoke in West Palm Beach, Fla., ahead of a meeting between President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 
Japan, one of the 11 nations in the proposed Pacific trade bloc, would likely welcome the U.S. back in, said Kudlow, who is a contributor to The Hill. But he added Trump is interested in reaching a bilateral trade deal with Japan. 
 
Trump caused a stir in Washington last week when he directed Kudlow and the U.S. trade representative to look into joining TPP talks. 
 
The president gave the instructions during a meeting with GOP officials from agricultural states who are worried about a possible trade war with China. 
 
Kudlow said “it has to be in U.S. interest for us to take another look and actually go into it” and that “the president believes it is not presently in U.S. interest to sign it.”
 
Trump made a similar argument in a tweet following last week’s trade meeting.
 
“Would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama. 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!” he tweeted. 
 
President Obama finalized negotiations on the Pacific trade deal, but it was never ratified by Congress before he left office. 
 
Trump railed against the pact during the 2016 campaign, saying it was backed by “special interests who want to rape our country.”