Washington, April 18: US President Donald Trump said that despite Japan and South Korea wanting Washington to re-join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), he does not want to be a part of it. “While Japan and South Korea would like us to go back into TPP, I don’t like the deal for the US. Too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn’t work,” Trump tweeted on Tuesday, shortly after meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “Bilateral deals are far more efficient, profitable and better for our workers.”
The President contradicted the US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, who on April 12 had said that his country was considering the possibility to re-join the TPP, although he had added that it would be under the right circumstances. Trump also cited the World Trade Organisation, whom he has criticised on several occasions for not taking any action against China, as an example of failure of multilateral agreements.
Abe, before his departure for Palm Beach in Florida where he was welcomed by Trump, had expressed his desire to discuss the US’s possible return to the TPP, although he ruled out returning to the negotiating table to allow the US to accept the deal. A modified TPP, called the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), was signed by the 11 remaining countries on March 8, after the US had made its exit. The agreement signed by Brunei, Australia, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, is expected to enter into force by the end of 2018. (IANS)