WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed a notice starting withdrawal from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, fulfilling a campaign pledge.
The TPP was negotiated under former President Barack Obama, but never ratified by Congress, so withdrawing from it will not have an immediate, real effect on US economic policies, although it does signal a new and very different US outlook on trade under Trump.
Trade experts say that approval was unlikely to happen given voters’ anxiety about trade deals and the potential for job losses.
Trump called the move “a great thing for the American workers”
It remains unclear if Trump would seek individual deals with the 11 other nations in TPP— a group that represents roughly 13.5 percent of the global economy, according to World Bank figures.
Trump has blamed past trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization for a decline in U.S. factory jobs.
As the Republican nominee, Trump railed against free trade agreements he argued were lopsided against the US and vowed to implement more protectionist trade policies as president, rallying voters to the polls with his “America First” slogan.
Trump has also threatened to impose trade tariffs as a way to revive American manufacturing and compel US companies not to take their manufacturing operations abroad.
Other executive orders signed Monday included reinstating the Mexico City abortion rules and instituting a five-year lobbying ban for anyone who works in administration.