Saturday 3 December 2016

Donald Trump vows to quit trade pact and put America first

Luis Andres Henao

Published 22/11/2016 | 07:46

Trump says America will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals
Trump says America will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals

Donald Trump has confirmed he will leave a key trade pact as he defended his worldwide business interests.

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The US president-elect released a short video about his plans for his administration, which included the intention to quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

"I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country," Mr Trump said.

"Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores."

Mr Trump said in the video he is assembling a Cabinet made up of "patriots" and that his agenda "will be based on a simple core principle - putting America first".

He repeated a number of his promises for the first 100 days of his administration, including vows to negotiate new trade deals, remove regulations on businesses and establish a five-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists.

Notably missing from his promises is his pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his vow to build a southern border wall with Mexico.

The president-elect later appeared to deny that he is using the powers of his future office to benefit his businesses worldwide.

He tweeted: "Prior to the election it was well known that I have interests in properties all over the world.

Only the crooked media makes this a big deal!"Mr Trump has said repeatedly that he will leave his company to his children and have no interest in it - but three of his adult children are also playing key roles in his transition.

The tweet came after the tycoon spent the day at Trump Tower meeting almost a dozen people who could take jobs in his administration, although he did not announce any appointments.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a long-time Trump ally, arrived with his wife, Callista, and told reporters that he indicated to the president-elect he was interested in being a "senior planner" to co-ordinate long-term political efforts among the Republicans in control of all three branches of government.Japan's prime minister said the TPP trade deal would be "meaningless" without US participation.

Shinzo Abe was speaking after attending a weekend meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders in Peru at which some said they might try to modify the 12-nation TPP pact to make it more appealing to Mr Trump or seek to implement it without the US.But Mr Abe discounted the idea of going ahead without the Americans being a part of the deal."

Read more: Nigel Farage 'flattered' as Donald Trump backs him to be Britain's US ambassador  

TPP is meaningless without the United States," he said during an official visit to Argentina.

He also said the pact could not be renegotiated: "This would disturb the fundamental balance of benefits."

As Japan's most powerful leader in a decade, Mr Abe had invested political capital in overcoming strong domestic opposition to the TPP.

Mr Abe and the other 20 leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation group closed their annual summit on Sunday with a call to resist the protectionist sentiment highlighted by Mr Trump's victory and Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

Press Association

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