Back to the TPP?
Trump suggests US might seek to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Via the NYT: Trump Proposes Rejoining Trans-Pacific Partnership.
President Trump, in a sharp reversal, told a gathering of farm state lawmakers and governors on Thursday morning that the United States was looking into rejoining a multicountry trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal he pulled out of days after assuming the presidency.
Mr. Trump’s reconsideration of an agreement he once denounced as a “rape of our country” caught even his closest advisers by surprise and came as his administration faces stiff pushback from Republican lawmakers, farmers and other businesses concerned that the president’s threat of tariffs and other trade barriers will hurt them economically.
Hmm. One might come to the conclusion that he doesn’t know what he is doing.
rejoining it could be a complex task. The remaining countries, like Japan, moved ahead without the United States, and spent months renegotiating a pact before finally agreeing to a sweeping multinational deal this year. Mr. Trump, who has demanded that any such deal benefit the United States, is unlikely to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership without further concessions for what he has criticized as a terrible agreement. That could complicate talks, since Japan maintains that it has already given all the concessions it could, said William A. Reinsch, a trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Indeed. Everyone knows that the best negotiators like to wait until a multi-party deal is complete to try and gain favorable conditions. As WaPo‘s write-up noted:
When the president last year announced he was quitting the deal, the other TPP countries suspended 20 provisions in the original accord and announced a new deal, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The provisions, including key intellectual property protections such as those involving biological drugs, were measures the United States had demanded in return for granting access to its market.
U.S. negotiating partners might expect the United States to “pay for” restoring those provisions at this point, Cutler said.
“They do want us back in. But the question is: At what price?” Cutler said.
And yes, this story deserves more than snark, although I am not sure that POTUS does on this topic.
More later, I suspect.