In the eventuality that the United States is able to get a “substantially better” agreement from the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, he would reconsider sticking with it, said the U.S. President Donald Trump to a television channel.
But experts are of the view that there is hardly any time left for the U.S. to negotiate any forom of new trade deal.
“I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal. The deal was terrible, the way it was structured was terrible. If we did a substantially better deal, I would be open to TPP,” he said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The TPP, which is a trade agreement was created partly to counter the growing dominance of China in the Pacific rim region, included 12 countries from the region and the United States. But alleging that the trade deal would encourage U.S. companies to transfer manufacturing jobs to countries that have lower wages, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the TPP agreement.
However, it could be too late for Trump to rethink and renegotiate the agreement. The last of the 11 countries that were left in the TPP agreement after the U.S. left it, agreed to continue with the trade agreement even without the U.S. The revised deal is potentially to be signed in March and it would be effectively led by Japan and Australia.
There was little chance of the TPP agreement getting past the congress to gain approval even during the time of Barack Obama, who was instrumental in setting up the deal and Trump has repeatedly attacked the deal as a presidential candidate. Trump had openly blamed free-trade agreements that the U.S. had entered into for the loss of manufacturing jobs and for U.S. companies shifting their manufacturing units outside of the U.S. Trump additionally had touted for bilateral trade agreement to multilateral agreements for greater benefits to the U.S. economy.
“I like bilateral, because if you have a problem, you terminate. … You don’t have that same option” with multilateral deals, he said on Thursday.
Another target for Trump with respect to his judgement of bad trade agreements is the North American Free Trade Agreement or the NAFTA, which has been at the receiving end many threats from him about a potential pull out form the agreement in case the U.S. is unbale to come to a more favorable agreement at the end of the during ongoing negotiations.
“I think we have a good chance, but we’ll see what happens,” he said of whether the U.S. would strike an agreement to stay in the three-nation deal with Canada and Mexico.
(Adapted from CNBC.com)