Trump to rejoin TPP?

By Leith van Onselen

After vigorously opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the lead-up to the 2016 Presidential Election, the Trump Administration appears to be having second thoughts. From The AFR:

Donald Trump has backed a fresh drive by the United States to re-engage with Australia and Asia on trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership…

It represents a major effort to assuage allies’ concerns that a US withdrawal would create a power vacuum in favour of a more assertive China…

The so-called Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA), which Mr Trump ratified without fanfare as one of his final acts on New Year’s Eve, includes a call for the US to return to multilateral trade deals…

The TPP-11 – the revised agreement signed without the US – was superior to the initial TPP deal because it softened many of the non-trade restrictions around intellectual property and investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS), which were included at the US’ behest.

Thus, if the US does rejoin the TPP, it won’t represent the same agreement that it drafted initially in 2016. And the US will have to accept fewer restrictions and less favourable treatment for its large multinational corporations, like big pharma.

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  1. China considers joining it, hence the US will have to if they want to prevent an ever growing Chinese influence over the Pacific.

  2. Plutocracy at its finest. Trump has been ‘corpsplained’ to over the Christmas period and is falling in behind ‘the money’.