Date
17 October 2018
Donald Trump can make changes and rename the TPP rather than ditch the trade pact completely, US business and agricultural groups say. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump can make changes and rename the TPP rather than ditch the trade pact completely, US business and agricultural groups say. Photo: Reuters

Businesses lobby Trump team on Pacific trade pact

Business and agricultural groups are lobbying Trump transition officials to salvage the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in some form despite the US president-elect’s plan to scrap the agreement.

The business groups are arguing that the incoming administration can make changes to the deal and rename it, rather than ditch it completely, the Wall Street Journal reports.

By making some changes, it can be turned into a Trump initiative to boost US exports to Asia and write new trade rules for the Asia Pacific region, the groups argue.

TPP supporters say the pact will help convince Asian nations that the US wants to remain a leader in the region and won’t cede economic power to China, which isn’t part of the trade accord.

Former US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky was quoted as saying that other TPP nations may be willing to revamp the deal because they want American participation.

“They will certainly hear the new administration out and consider carefully the consequences of a ‘no accommodation’ mindset,” she said, according to the Journal.

TPP’s twelve members include important US trade partners such as Japan, Vietnam, Australia, Mexico and Canada.

A main goal of the accord is to set trading rules in Asia, which TPP partners believe China would eventually follow.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping defended international trade and economic integration.

“No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war,” Xi said at the forum.

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