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Trump flips on trade pact, weighs rejoining Pacific-Rim deal

Trump flips on trade pact, weighs rejoining Pacific-Rim deal

"The president multiple times reaffirmed in general to all of us and looked right at Larry Kudlow and said, 'Larry, go get it done, '" Sen.

The move would be a reversal for Mr. Trump, who signed an executive order in January 2017 shortly after taking office to signify the USA exit from the 12-country Asia Pacific free trade deal.

The discussions came during a meeting in which Trump told farm-state governors and lawmakers that he was pressing China to treat the American agriculture industry fairly.

TPP-11 is the group of Pacific nations who signed a renewed free trade pact after Trump pulled the United States out of TPP.

One of the White House officials said that while the president prefers negotiating bilateral trade deals, a multilateral deal with the TPP countries would counter Chinese competition and would be faster than negotiating one-on-one with each of the 11 other nations. The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment, and some members of the administration appeared surprised by the news. Midwest farmers fear becoming caught up in a trade war as Beijing threatens to impose tariffs on soybeans and other USA crops, a big blow to Midwestern farmers, many of whom are strong Trump supporters.

The president has mused publicly about rejoining the deal before, suggesting he would re-enter if he could negotiate more favorable terms. The other countries include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. "Undoubtedly, a TPP that includes the USA would be stronger and more formidable than one that does not".

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"I have to believe President Xi is smiling all the way to regional domination as a result of our pulling out of TPP".

"Tariffs first and USA alone action that focuses just on tariffs and steel ... that's not going to solve the real problems we have", he said.

He added, "It is good news that today the President directed Larry Kudlow and Ambassador Lighthizer to negotiate US entry into TPP".

Trump's decision to consider a return to the trade deal comes as the United States and China trade escalating tariffs on products such as Chinese steel and electronics, and US aluminum and food products.

Reuters reported that Trump talked of lifting the summertime ban on E15, which is limited due to concerns about smog. Farm state lawmakers have pushed for greater sales of the higher ethanol blend to boost demand for the corn-based fuel.

"Withdrawing the threat of tariffs without achieving results would be tantamount to waiving the white flag of trade surrender", said Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing.