Donald Trump to cull Trans-Pacific trade deal on day one

President-elect Donald Trump says the US will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on his first day in the White House.

He made the announcement in a video message outlining what he intends to do first when he takes office in January.

The TPP trade deal was signed by 12 countries which together cover 40% of the world’s economy.

Mr Trump also pledged to reduce “job-killing restrictions” on coal production and stop visa abuses.

But there was no mention of repealing Obamacare or building a wall on the southern border with Mexico, two actions he said during the campaign he would do as soon as he assumed power.

tppThe massive trade deal was agreed in 2015 by nations including the US, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico, but has not yet been ratified by the individual countries.

Its aim was to deepen economic ties and boost growth, including by reducing tariffs.

There were also measures to enforce labour and environmental standards, copyrights, patents and other legal protections.

But its opponents say it was negotiated in secret and it favoured big corporations.

During the US presidential election campaign, Mr Trump gave broadbrush arguments against the pact, and used plenty of colourful language.

In June 2016 he described it as “another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country, just a continuing rape of our country”. In another speech he referred to the TPP as “the greatest danger yet”.

But while there was plenty of talk about “taking back control” of the US economy, there were few specifics.

Announcing the plan to pull out of the TPP, he said that the US would “negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores”.

In the video message, Mr Trump said his governing agenda would be based on “putting America first” and that he and the new administration would “bring back our jobs”.

Besides quitting the TPP, he committed to several other executive actions that he said he would take on day one.

He said he would cancel restrictions on US energy production. Last year, President Obama brought in the Clean Power Plan, an anti-climate change measure which aimed to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector by 32% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels.

The plan, already on hold due to legal challenges, would have restricted coal power plants and came up against strong opposition in areas where leaders said the plans would devastate local economies.

Mr Trump said: “I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs.

“That’s what we want – that’s what we’ve been waiting for.”

Mr Trump, a real estate mogul himself, has been strongly opposed to business regulations throughout his campaign. He blamed them for stifling business. A month before the election, he said that if he won, 70% of regulations could be axed, but safety and environmental rules would stay.

Now he has pledged that for every new regulation brought into force, two old regulations will be eliminated. (BBC)

 

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