Asia cautious about possible Trump rethink on trade deal

Glen Norman
April 14, 2018

The TPP, a trade deal that was to involve 12 countries including the United States, was conceived under former President Barack Obama as a way to counter China's surging power in the region.

But rejoining it could be a complex task.

Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan's minister for the TPP, also said it would be hard to change the deal, describing it as a "balanced one, like fine glassware". The TPP was finalized in February 2016, but not ratified by the US before Trump withdrew the United States' signature from the pact.

When President Trump ordered the USA withdrawal from TPP trade negotiations in January 2017, the deal was widely seen as catering to American interests, given that US negotiators helped shape the deal since 2008.

While it will take some time for an ultimate decision to come down from the White House on TPP, Priest said the renewed interest is a positive sign for the shoe industry.

At the same time, the President will not allow farmers to bear the brunt of the trade dispute with China.

"I have to believe President Xi [Jinping] is smiling all the way to regional domination as a result of our pulling out of TPP".

Ministers from Japan, Australia and Malaysia had welcomed President Donald Trump directing officials to explore returning to the TPP, but they also cautioned against making any significant changes.

President Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting this month at the White House in Washington.

An Israeli official told CNN that the strikes enforced the red line drawn by President Trump previous year.

He also expressed optimism about a deal with China, one week after escalating tensions with his threat to impose tariffs on an additional US$100 billion of Chinese products. A trade war with China could be particularly devastating to rural economies, especially for pig farmers and soybean and corn growers.

The Syrian Armed Forces said in a statement that 110 missiles were fired on Syrian targets and that the country's defense systems "intercepted most of the missiles, but some hit targets including the Research Center in Barzeh".

The president says China has consistently treated USA agriculture unfairly and his administration is "changing things with respect to trade".

Kevin Kennedy, president of a steel fabrication business in Texas, says tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have led US steel producers to raise their prices by 40 percent.

The U.S., Britain and France carried out airstrikes early Saturday against three sites in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack last week by President Bashar Assad's regime. Many American agriculturalists maintain that the easiest way to help them is to avoid a trade war with China in the first place.

TPP had broad support among many farmers, as it was aimed at cutting trade barriers, such as tariffs, and opening new markets for exports and imports. Tighter trade links between the US and other Asian nations could give Trump a better hand in the brewing trade fight with China. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. The move could hurt Midwestern farmers, many of whom are strong supporters of the president.

Information for this article was contributed by Ken Thomas, Kevin Freking, Catherine Lucey, Jill Colvin, Paul Wiseman, Matthew Daly and James MacPherson of The Associated Press and by Erica Werner, Seung Min Kim and Damian Paletta of Bloomberg News.

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