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Not so fast: U.S. notes interest in re-joining TPP far from guaranteed

Not so fast: U.S. notes interest in re-joining TPP far from guaranteed

Trump tweets that he would only rejoin the agreement if it's renegotiated to become substantially better for the U.S.

Members of an 11-nation Asia-Pacific trade pact said Friday they opposed any renegotiation of the deal to accommodate the United States should it decide to rejoin at a later date. The deal, which was negotiated by President Barack Obama's administration, was largely viewed as a tool to prod China into making the type of economic changes that the United States and others have long wanted.

"As I have said, the United States is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial, bilateral trade agreements with all countries. We're here to advocate for the industry - that's No. 1 - but we also are here to sift through some of the rhetoric and line that up with the reality", Priest said.

Rejoining the 11-country pact could be a sharp reversal of fortune for many USA industries that stood to benefit from the trade agreement's favorable terms and Republican lawmakers who supported the pact.

In remarks on Thursday he also expressed optimism about a deal with China, a week after escalating tensions with his threat to impose tariffs on an additional US$100 billion in Chinese products.

The two countries ultimately might end up levying no new tariffs on each other, he said. "We would consider negotiating with the rest, either individually, or perhaps as a group, if it is in the interests of all". And I think the president realizes, as President Obama did, that having closer links economically with those countries increases our defense capabilities and readiness.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross later said the administration needs to see concrete actions from China to reach a deal.

The 11-nation trade deal, which was renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership after the US withdrew, was signed in March but won't come into force until it's ratified by individual nations.

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The S&P 500 Index closed up 0.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added nearly 300 points, or 1.2%, as investors assessed the changing trade dynamics. For instance, ranchers in Australia can send beef to Japan more cheaply than ranchers in the US.

Trump withdrew the U.S. from the TPP during his first week in office.

Roberts and Sasse said they poured cold water on the president's idea that if tariff tensions with China escalate, he will provide federal aid to US farmers.

Senator Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican who participated in a meeting with Trump on Thursday where he spoke about rejoining the deal, said: "He multiple times reaffirmed the point that TPP might be easier to join now".

Republicans in Congress have also been skeptical of Trump's tendencies on trade, and 25 Republican senators sent a letter to Trump urging him to re-engage with the pact "so that the American people can prosper from the tremendous opportunities that these trading partners bring".

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country. This will include the countries in TPP, which are very important.

"It's hard to bring part of the pact and renegotiate it", he said, calling it a "well-balanced pact" that carefully addressed the needs of the current 11 member nations. And for the try to get back in once we've already left the deal is going to be even more complicated than it was when we were trying to negotiate the deal from the center of the table.