World leaders have reacted to Donald Trump’s announcement that the US will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on his first day as President.
TPP was designed to bring down tariffs, but Trump has described the agreement, which was signed by 12 countries covering 40 percent of the world’s economy, as a ‘‘potential disaster’‘. He has vowed instead to negotiate separate bilateral trade deals.
In Buenos Aires, barely an hour before Trump’s announcement, Japan’s Shinzo Abe reacted to the potential news warning that the trade pact would be pointless without the US.
“ TPP is meaningless without the United States.This would disturb the fundamental balance of benefits, which is also why re-negotiation is impossible.” Abe said.
Beijing also reacted strongly to Trump’s plan to pull out of the deal.
China’s Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said: “We hope that these trade deals will follow the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and be helpful to the multilateral trade system. Also, we hope these agreements can reinforce rather than thwart each other.’‘
Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull also responded, vowing to push on.
“So Mr Trump and his new Congress will have to make their own decisions in America’s interest. That’s their judgment to make, but can I say to you that it is very clear that from Australia’s point of view, getting access, greater access for Australian exports, whether it is goods or services to those big markets is manifestly in our interest.
It is manifestly delivering more jobs, better jobs and stronger economic growth in Australia.”
During the APEC summit in Peru’s capital Lima last weekend, Turnbull expressed his hope that Trump might have a change of heart regarding the trade pact.