Mnuchin: Trump rejoining the TPP is ‘on the table’
The Trump administration is considering rejoining the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the multilateral trade agreement negotiated under the Obama administration that President Trump vowed to end during the campaign.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday at a meeting sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that rejoining the Asian trade agreement is “on the table,” according to The New York Times.
“I’ve met with several of my counterparties and other people, and we’ve begun to have very high-level conversations about TPP,” Mnuchin said.
“It’s not a priority at the moment, but it is something the president will consider.”
Mnuchin went on to add that Trump still favors pursuing one-on-one trade agreements with individual countries, but is keeping rejoining a renegotiated TPP as a possibility in the future.
The Treasury secretary’s remarks follow Trump’s statement during a CNBC interview in Davos, Switzerland, last month that he would consider a renegotiated TPP deal if the agreement was made “substantially better” in terms of achieving U.S. trade goals.
“I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal. The deal was terrible, the way it was structured was terrible. If we did a substantially better deal, I would be open to TPP,” Trump said in January.
More than two dozen Senate Republicans sent a letter to the White House last week urging Trump to re-engage TPP negotiations, asking the GOP president to “aggressively” pursue the multilateral deal.
“Increased economic engagement with the eleven nations currently in the TPP has the potential to substantially improve the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, support millions of U.S. jobs, increase U.S. exports, increase wages, fully unleash America’s energy potential and benefit consumers,” wrote the lawmakers, including Senate Finance Committee chair Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
“We encourage you to work aggressively to secure reforms that would allow the United States to join the agreement.”