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American Shipper

Trump voices continuing preference for bilaterals, but could he hop into TPP?

President Donald Trump said he’d be open to the United States joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership if it were improved, while reports have surfaced that Canada agreed to join 10 other countries in signing the trade deal in its current form in March.

   President Donald Trump still favors bilateral trade deals over multilateral ones, but said he’d be open to the United States joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if it were improved, according to a type-out of remarks he made on CNBC during the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.
   “If we did a substantially better deal, I would be open to TPP,” Trump said. “Are you surprised to hear me say that?”
   After the interviewer said he was “a little taken aback,” Trump said, “don’t be surprised, no, but we have to make a better deal. The deal was a bad deal, like the Iran deal is a bad deal, these are bad deals.”  
   Reports also surfaced this week that Canada has agreed to join 10 other countries in signing the TPP in its current form in March.
   Several U.S. trade officials and Trump, in the early days of his administration, said the U.S. would work to negotiate more bilateral – rather than multilateral – trade agreements, but since then, no officials in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and no officials working in other trade capacities have announced commencement of any such talks.

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