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Trump orders advisers to study re-entering TPP: senator

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President Donald Trump has called on advisers to look for a way back in on TPP.    
   Chris Kleponis-Pool  Getty Images

"It is good news that today the President directed Larry Kudlow and Ambassador Lighthizer to negotiate US entry into TPP", Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, said in a statement.

Trump has never fully articulated what he opposed about the TPP, but he has shown a general reluctance to enter into multilateral trade deals because he believes these allow the United States to be ripped off.

Trump has always boasted that he preferred bilateral trade agreements that could be leveraged to the benefit of the US and American workers.

One well-connected stakeholder has been predicting for weeks that these deals might ultimately coalesce into one; he said the auto rules now being negotiated under NAFTA could become the key USA condition for re-entering TPP.

Volpe had been predicting that in reply to Abe's demand for relief from tariffs, a logical response from Trump would be to request US entry into TPP - under more favourable, NAFTA-friendly auto rules.

But the TPP went ahead anyway with 11 countries including Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam signing the deal in March. Gasoline typically contains 10 per cent ethanol.

The Trump administration says it has ordered the Agriculture Department to create a program to help farmers hurt by trade. China has responded to Mr. Trump's threat of tariffs on as much as $150 billion worth of Chinese goods by placing its own tariffs on American pork, and threatening taxes on soybeans, sorghum, corn and beef.

"We don't need that".

In February, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. was interested in re-entering the trade agreement, but he quickly backed off those comments, making it sound like a deal would not materialise.

The meetings came as an array of business executives and trade groups expressed alarm to federal lawmakers Thursday about the impact that tariffs will have on their business.

The move to consider reentry comes just one month after the president imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the U.S. It is bad enough to force USA workers to compete with low-wage labor; they should not be forced to compete with no-wage labor.

The U.S. and China are in the early stages of what could be the biggest trade battle in more than a half century. This comes after Trump withdrew America from the worldwide trade agreement a year ago, and repeatedly criticized it in 2016.

Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, urged lawmakers and the administration to stay the course in getting tough on China.

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