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Pacific trade deal won't pause for Trump

Donald Trump Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani

But they also cautioned against making any significant changes. Malaysia's International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed echoed these remarks, saying that renegotiation would "alter the balance of benefits for parties".

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his new chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, are examining whether a better deal could be negotiated involving America, after Mr Trump pulled his nation out a year ago.

The president tweeted that he "would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better" than the one negotiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama. "I'm so pleased that the President asked his administration to reengage in these discussions with other TPP countries, and is continuing his work to negotiate a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal". Many current members of the pact feel they already gave considerable ground to the United States to strike the original deal, particularly in sensitive areas like protections for pharmaceutical companies. Trump has warned that he could levy tariffs on $150 billion in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to threaten retaliatory measures aimed at American soybeans, airplanes and other products. "We would consider negotiating with the rest, either individually, or perhaps as a group, if it is in the interests of all." he had said in his remarks to the World Economic Forum Congress Centre. "I think they want to".

The S&P 500 Index closed up 0.8% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average added nearly 300 points, or 1.2%, as investors assessed the changing trade dynamics.

Trump's decision to withdraw from the TPP was among his first actions after he was inaugurated in 2017. The idea that the TPP is a counter to China is nonsense.

Senator Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican who participated in a meeting with Trump on Thursday where he spoke about rejoining the deal, said: "He multiple times reaffirmed the point that TPP might be easier to join now".

The barriers to a new pact are considerable.

He said while Malaysia welcomed the US' participation, terms and conditions set in the trade deal would remain firm.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said any CPTPP renegotiations to make significant changes might be hard as the trade pack had already achieved a balanced deal for all the countries involved. "You'd need a whole renegotiation". They finalized a revised version of the trade pact last month, renaming it the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership or CPTPP.

"Last year, the President kept his promise to end the TPP deal negotiated by the Obama Administration because it was unfair to American workers and farmers", White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement Thursday.