Despite having pulled out of the trade deal past year, President Trump has reportedly asked his top trade officials to negotiate re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
To that end, he has asked US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and top economic adviser Larry Kudlow "to take another look at whether or not a better deal could be negotiated", she said.
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.
Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican critic of Trump's trade policies, said that at one point in the meeting, the president turned to Kudlow and said, "Larry, go get it done".
Trump has ostensibly begun to appreciate that case.
President Trump directed his top economic and trade officials Thursday to look into reviving the Obama administration's multi-nation free trade deal with Pacific rim nations, a deal that Mr. Trump withdrew from past year.
Trump pulled out of the deal - which he called a "rape of our nation" during the 2016 presidential campaign - within days of assuming the presidency.
Just by floating the idea, the GOP president drew the ire of conservatives on social media as he opened the door to joining a trade pact with 11 other Asian countries that he once dubbed "a continuing rape of our country".
But the geopolitical case for reaching some kind of new trade agreement with our nation's allies in the Pacific was always solid: Strengthening our economic ties to such countries would provide the US with a tool for countering the influence of an ascendant China. Earlier this month, in a bid to punish Beijing for stealing American intellectual property, Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on a long list of Chinese imports. And, experts say it could be good news for Indiana. He has previously said he might reconsider the deal.
Roberts and Sasse said they poured cold water on the president's idea that if tariff tensions with China escalate, he will provide federal aid to US farmers.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a tweet Thursday that the farm-state senators who attended the meeting had each expressed concerns about "nervousness among farmers" because of Chinese retaliation.
But a spokesman for China's commerce ministry said the United States is not showing any sincerity and that China will not hesitate to fight back if the USA escalates trade tensions. Now, with US influence erased from its design, Trump dreams of resetting the terms in our favor.
What has Trump said about it?
"TPP would address so many issues, such as environmental, worker rights, public procurement, trade unions", Hauskrecht says.