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President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to withdraw from negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It was Trump’s first executive order since his inauguration on Friday 20th January.

The TPP was a proposed free trade agreement between twelve countries including Canada, Australia and Japan. It had been negotiated by former president Barack Obama but was never ratified.

It faced opposition from across the political spectrum, including from Democrat Hillary Clinton, Trump’s election rival, who changed her position after previously referring to it as “the gold standard in trade agreements”.

Trump pulls US out of TPP agreement

During his election campaign, Trump vowed to withdraw the US from the deal on the basis that it was harmful to American workers and domestic manufacturing. This was in line with the protectionist, nationalist rhetoric that characterised most of his campaign.

Other opponents of the TPP argued that the deal unduly favoured multinational corporations, which would be able to seek arbitration against any laws and regulations that had a negative impact on their profits.

Among the proponents of the deal was FedEx CEO Fred Smith, who met with Trump in November and later criticised Trump’s trade policy.

There is now concern that Trump will also seek to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) with Mexico and Canada.

(Source: The Guardian)

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