Accessibility links

USA

Trump Withdraws US from 12-Nation Pacific Rim Trade Deal

  • VOA News

President Donald Trump shows off an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, Jan. 23, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

U.S. President Donald Trump began his first full week in office by withdrawing the country from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, instituting a hiring freeze at federal agencies and reiterating to congressional leaders his false assertion that voter fraud kept him from winning the popular vote in the November election.

At a White House meeting that included House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, several people familiar with the talks said Trump claimed between 3 million and 5 million fraudulent votes by illegal immigrants were cast for his opponent Hillary Clinton.

There has been little evidence of any voter fraud during the election, and certainly not on that scale.

Clinton won the nationwide popular vote by about 3 million votes.Trump is in office because he won by a huge margin in the Electoral College that actually decides presidential elections.

Trump has made similar claims before, warning throughout the campaign that the process would be rigged against him.A few weeks after being elected, he wrote on Twitter, "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions who voted illegally."

Trump also campaigned against the TPP trade deal that was negotiated during former President Barack Obama's term, but never ratified by Congress.It would have covered trade with Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Chile, Canada, Mexico and four other countries.

After signing an executive order Monday to withdraw from the TPP and instead pursue bilateral trade agreements, Trump called it a "great thing for the American worker - what we just did.”

WATCH: 'We’re Going to Have a Tremendous Amount of Business Coming Back'

White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters that as Trump "has said many times, this type of multinational agreement is not in our best interest, and he’s moving quickly to advance trade policies that increase the competitiveness of the American worker and manufacturer."

The TPP would have been the biggest regional trade deal in history, covering nearly 40 percent of the world's economy and about a third of world trade. China didn't take part in the talks, but appears ready to step into the vacuum and create its own deals with the Southeast Asian countries that would have been part of the 12-nation agreement.

In advocating for the deal, Obama said last year, "We can't let countries like China write the rules of the global economy. We should write those rules."

Even before announcing his run for the presidency a year-and-a-half ago, Trump said, "The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an attack on America's business. It does not stop China's currency manipulation. This is a bad deal."

The agreement would have cut more than 18,000 tariffs, including on all U.S. manufactured goods and almost all American farm products. The deal sought to end exploitative child labor and set acceptable work conditions on minimum wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health.

Trump, as past Republican chief executives have done, also signed an order reinstating a ban on providing government funds to international groups that perform abortions or provide information about the procedure.

In addition, Trump, honoring a campaign pledge, froze civilian hiring at federal agencies, billing the freeze as a way to reduce the cost of government and rein in its growth.Military hiring is not affected.

He also met with a group of business leaders, telling them he will "massively" cut regulations as well as reduce taxes.

WATCH: President Trump on regulations

Trump warned the executives to not move their operations to other countries, saying they would face a hefty tariff if they manufacture products elsewhere and then attempt to bring them back across the border to sell in the U.S.

Among those meeting with him were the leaders of Dow Chemical, SpaceX, the Dell computing firm, the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin.

The president called on the business leaders to come up with a list in the next 30 days of ways to boost U.S. manufacturing, an important sector of the world's largest economy, but one that has lagged in the recovery since the country's steep recession in 2008 and 2009.

Trump says he is not against trade deals, but wants more favorable terms for the United States that benefit American workers.

Your opinion

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG