On Thursday, President Donald Trump ordered administration officials to take another look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, aka the TPP. According to the Washington Post, Trump gave the new orders to U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow during a White House meeting with lawmakers and governors.
The President even took to Twitter Thursday evening toying with the idea of the U.S. rejoining TPP:
Would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama. We already have BILATERAL deals with six of the eleven nations in TPP, and are working to make a deal with the biggest of those nations, Japan, who has hit us hard on trade for years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2018
The 11 countries in the TPP agreement moved ahead in January after President Trump pulled out and some countries such as Japan, Canada, and Mexico may not be as friendly to letting the U.S. back in now after additional trade talks with Trump.
U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Agriculture Committee, was hopeful after the meeting with President Trump.
After today’s meeting with the president, I was encouraged by his openness to the U.S. rejoining #TPP negotiations & appreciate his support for year-round sale of E15, which will be a win for consumer choice & regulatory reform. EPA must end its secret waiver attack on the #RFS.
— Senator John Thune (@SenJohnThune) April 12, 2018
U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, echoed Thune following the meeting.
“I conveyed to him how critical it is that we work together to protect markets – domestically and internationally – for our families,” Fischer said. “I’m encouraged by the president’s desire to move forward with the sale of year-round E-15 with a RVP waiver and to reengage with TPP nations in discussions to open new markets.”
According to the USDA, the 11 countries in the TPP already take in more than 40 percent of U.S. agricultural exports, equating to $63 billion. The TPP could add an additional $3 billion.