Trump vows to with­draw from TPP ‘on day one’

The Myanmar Times - - World -

DON­ALD Trump an­nounced the United States would sig­nal its with­drawal from the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) trade deal on his first day in the White House, as one of six im­me­di­ate steps aimed at “putting Amer­ica first”.

The Repub­li­can bil­lion­aire, who for 10 days has been sound­ing out cabi­net picks at his Trump Tower of­fices in New York, made the pledge in a short video mes­sage.

The 70-year-old prop­erty ty­coon out­lined a list of pri­or­i­ties for his first 100 days and ex­ec­u­tive ac­tions to be taken “on day one” – on halfa-dozen is­sues from trade to im­mi­gra­tion, na­tional se­cu­rity and ethics – in a push to “re­form Wash­ing­ton and re­build our mid­dle class”.

“My agenda will be based on a sim­ple core prin­ci­ple: putting Amer­ica first,” said the pres­i­dent-elect, whose vic­to­ri­ous cam­paign tapped the anger of work­ing-class Amer­i­cans who feel left be­hind by glob­al­i­sa­tion, sin­gling out trade deals such as the TPP as key cul­prits.

“On trade, I am go­ing to is­sue our no­ti­fi­ca­tion of in­tent to with­draw from the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship, a po­ten­tial dis­as­ter for our coun­try,” said Mr Trump, who takes of­fice on Jan­uary 20.

Both the 12-na­tion TPP and the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment (NAFTA) fea­tured in the bru­tal White House race and many see Mr Trump’s vic­tory as a re­pu­di­a­tion of ever-deeper com­mer­cial ties.

Mr Trump’s pop­ulist elec­tion plat­form called for scut­tling the TPP – Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s sig­na­ture trade ini­tia­tive which still needs ap­proval from the Repub­li­can-dom­i­nated Congress – as well as for rene­go­ti­at­ing NAFTA.

Asian lead­ers have been scram­bling to save the TPP, and US Trade Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Michael Fro­man warned last week that scrap­ping it would have “se­ri­ous” strate­gic and eco­nomic costs.

Mr Trump’s pledge to pull out of the deal was one of six points on

which he promised im­me­di­ate ac­tion – which he can take with­out Con­gres­sional ap­proval – all of which echoed his cam­paign po­si­tions.

Stick­ing to his theme of pro­tect­ing US jobs, Mr Trump said he would di­rect the Depart­ment of Labour to in­ves­ti­gate abuses of visa pro­grams “that un­der­cut the Amer­i­can worker”.

On en­ergy, Mr Trump pledged to boost the oil and gas sec­tor and bring back coal, re­vers­ing Mr Obama’s ef­forts to en­cour­age re­new­ables.

Re­gard­ing na­tional se­cu­rity, Mr Trump said he would ask the Depart­ment of De­fence and the Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to “de­velop a com­pre­hen­sive plan to pro­tect Amer­ica’s vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture from cy­ber­at­tacks, and all other form of at­tacks”.

On the sub­ject of ethics – the Repub­li­can has vowed to “drain the swamp” in Wash­ing­ton, al­though his own tran­si­tion team in­cludes sev­eral lob­by­ists – he promised “a five-year ban on ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cials be­com­ing lob­by­ists af­ter they leave the ad­min­is­tra­tion”. –

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