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This comes amid the mounting trade and political tensions between China and several nations of South East Asia, including the trade and maritime disputes in the South China Sea - which involves both Vietnam and the Philippines. The President will take strong action to confront those countries who do not treat us fairly and work to get a better deal for American exports.

Former Trade Minister Todd McClay said New Zealand should warmly welcome renewed U.S. interest in the revised TPP - but cautioned striking a deal would be very hard.

Kudlow is an economic advisor for President Trump while Robert Lighthizer is the US Trade Representative. "The TPP was a source of leverage against China, but President Trump simply didn't listen to those who were making that case before he pulled the plug".

"That is certainly good news", Roberts told reporters outside the West Wing. China has retaliated with tariffs on a range of USA products, such as fruit and pork, and threats to hit even bigger exports, including soybeans.

Sasse said Trump looked directly at Kudlow during the meeting and told him to "get it done".

But Mr. Trump on Thursday insisted he will only rejoin TPP with a better deal. No one played the anti-TPP card more frequently - as candidate or elected official - than Donald Trump. "The US position is much weaker now". The TPP member nations have spent the 15 months since the country's exit renegotiating the deal and signed a massive multinational deal this year.

"The American system's very complex and the administration has many parts and not all parts of them have the same view so we're not sure where this ends".

"I think it's very important for people to realize, particularly given this most recent tweet, if there is a negotiation it will not be an easy one".

Trump's threat drew a quick response from Russian Federation, who said that missiles would destroy evidence of suspected chemical weapons attack. "They then spent another long year working through modifications to the text to make it palatable for everyone".

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And true to form, Trump is preserving his options with the TPP gambit.

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, reportedly compared the TPP to a "glasswork," noting that "It's hard to bring part of the pact and renegotiate it", as it's already "well-balanced".

Negotiating a new pact could take years.

An early test of the potential for the United States to rejoin could come as soon as next week, when Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister and an ardent champion of the pact, is to meet with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. "It's not simply a matter of slotting into an existing deal".

Trump, who opposed multilateral trade pacts in his election campaign in 2016 and criticised it as a "horrible deal", pulled the United States out of the agreement in his first week in the White House in early 2017.

"There isn't an appetite for any substantial renegotiation in any material way of the TPP", he said.

Watanabe added that if the United States were to rejoin the pact there may be less of an appetite for demanding negotiations with Japan over a bilateral trade deal, an issue which has caused frictions between the two countries.

"The best thing the United States can do to push back against Chinese cheating now is to lead the other eleven Pacific nations that believe in free trade and the rule of law".


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