President Donald Trump has signed an executive order formally withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.
Following through on a promise from his presidential campaign, Trump’s withdrawal from the 12-nation Pacific trade agreement was announced on Monday.
The president vowed during the campaign to withdraw the US from the TPP, which he argued was harmful to American workers and manufacturing.
Al Jazeera reports:
“We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Trump said as he signed the executive order in an Oval Office ceremony on Monday, calling the move a “great thing for the American worker”.
In the same ceremony, Trump signed an order imposing a federal hiring freeze, with the exception of the military
Additionally, Trump signed a directive banning US NGOs that perform abortions abroad from receiving federal funding.
The TPP accord was negotiated by former President Barack Obama’s administration but never approved by US Congress.
Signed by 12 countries in 2015, the TPP trade agreement had yet to go into effect and the US’ withdrawal is likely to sound its death knell.
It had been the main economic pillar of the Obama administration’s “pivot” to the Asia-Pacific region to counter China.
Its signatories are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Brunei. They together represent 40 percent of the world economy.
Trump called it a “potential disaster” during his campaign.
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