Trump considers re-joining Trans-Pacific Partnership he once spurned

Donald Trump

"It'll be very good when we get it all finished", Trump said.

The administration is also considering the possibility of the federal government aiding farmers harmed by retaliatory tariffs from China, according to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and advocacy groups.

President Trump directed trade officials Thursday to look into rejoining negotiations for a major trade deal with eleven Pacific Rim countries.

"Rejoining the TPP would be a betrayal of American workers, and a step in the wrong direction", the statement said.

Earlier this month, China responded to Mr Trump's threat of tariffs on as much as $US150 billion worth of Chinese goods by placing its own tariffs on American pork, and threatening taxes on soybeans, sorghum, corn and beef.

The president's decision came in a White House meeting with lawmakers from farm states anxious about the impact of potential tariffs by China against agricultural products.

The lawmakers also told the president that joining TPP would allow the United States to counter China's trade "cheating" by "leading" Asian countries that would rather be aligned with Washington than Beijing.

Sasse, who attended a White House meeting along with other senators from agricultural states, said that Trump told Kudlow to "Go get it done."

The TPP would open more overseas markets for American farmers.

I'm sure those within the administration who don't share Trump's nationalist agenda are using the China tariffs and the possible consequences for US agriculture as leverage to get him back into the TPP. Trump pulled out of the deal as one of his first acts as president previous year. Remember him telling a group of senators at a White House huddle on immigration that he'd sign anything they bring him?

Raymond James Washington policy analyst Ed Mills discusses how USA companies are being affected by President Trump's 25% tariff on steel.

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts says Trump wants "to see if we couldn't take another look at TPP". Ben Sasse, R-Neb., said in a statement. "The president heard unified voices that we need more trade, not less".

The White House meeting was aimed at appealing to the Midwest lawmakers at a time of high anxiety because of the China trade dispute.

"That deal can be negotiated better for the United States, and that would result in significant wins for Montana agriculture, specifically beef, and getting access to the Japan market with significant tariff reduction", Daines said. "A USA -alone action. that's not going to solve the real problems that we have".

Still, you couldn't fairly say that Trump didn't keep any of his populist campaign promises - or at least, you couldn't say that until today.

"We have to make some further decisions", he told reporters.

On talks with Canada and Mexico to revamp Nafta, Trump said negotiations are "coming along great", though he added there's no timeline to reach a deal.

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