Attention Turns to Trump for Ratification of TPP

Randall Weiseman Export/Import, General, Trade

Trans Pacific PartnershipNow that President Obama has indicated he will not push Congress to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement before he leaves office, attention is turning to President-elect Donald Trump. Various voices are offering their views to the incoming president on the TPP, the 12-nation Asia-Pacific trade agreement that Trump said he would tear up.

According to the National Pork Producers Council, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has congressional jurisdiction over trade, urged Trump not to withdraw from the agreement, which was concluded a year ago after six years of negotiations. (He also advised him not to back away from the North American Free Trade Agreement.) But TPP, which includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, would eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers on a host of U.S. products, including pork.

Also weighing in recently was the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who said U.S. failure to ratify the TPP could shift attention to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is being led by China and which does not include the U.S. It does include seven of the TPP countries. But the (Japanese Prime Minister) Abe is continuing to push for TPP.

Singapore’s Prime Minister also noted Trump’s call to renegotiate the TPP deal, saying that it would not be easy to change the terms of the agreement. But he added that it is premature to start considering alternatives to the TPP.