Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Business Digest

Article excerpt

Trump weighs rejoining TPP - President Donald Trump told top administration officials Thursday to look at rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major shift on the sprawling trade pact he rejected just days after taking office.

Rejoining the pact would come after Trump had been escalating a trade conflict with China. The Pacific Rim trade deal was intended by the Obama administration as a way to counter China's influence, but Trump criticized the pact and pulled the United States out of it in one of his earliest moves .

Trump gave the new orders to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow during a meeting with lawmakers and governors in the White House Cabinet Room on Thursday, according to several GOP senators in attendance.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said that he and others at the table argued that "if you really want to get China's attention, one way to do it is start doing business with all the people they're doing business with in the region: their competitors."

Trump then told Lighthizer and Kudlow to "take a look at getting us back into that agreement, on our terms of course," Thune said. "He was very, I would say, bullish about that."

Trump's opposition to multinational trade pacts such as TPP and the North American Free Trade Agreement was a central part of his campaign for president in 2016 and accounted for some of his appeal to working-class voters. He argued the deals were terribly negotiated, ripping off the U.S. and hurting American workers and manufacturing.

China denies comments aimed at settling dispute - China's government on Thursday denied President Xi Jinping's promise of market-opening measures this week was aimed at settling a tariff dispute with Washington and said negotiations are impossible under "unilateral coercion" by the United States.

A commerce ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, complained U.S. President Donald Trump's government has "shown no sincerity," according to the official Xinhua News Agency. …

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