President Donald Trump (Photo courtesy of WhiteHouse.gov)
On his first full day in office, Jan. 21, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-country free trade agreement designed to expand market access throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
The executive order fulfills a prominent campaign promise by directing the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to remove the United States as a signatory and permanently withdraw from TPP negotiations. Because the United States never ratified the agreement despite concluding negotiations in October 2015, the president has the discretion to withdraw from the agreement without congressional approval.
Highlighting a new policy toward trade agreements, the White House directed USTR to focus on bilateral negotiations with the 11 other countries.
Earlier this year, IDFA supported the agreement “on balance” but said TPP cannot become the template for future free trade agreements. While praising U.S. negotiators for important breakthroughs on geographical indications and fully enforceable sanitary and phytosanitary rules, IDFA expressed disappointment with the extremely limited market access gains for U.S. dairy in Canada and Japan.
IDFA remains a strong supporter of open markets and free trade in the Asia-Pacific region and looks forward to working with the administration as it focuses on “bilateral trade negotiations to promote American industry, protect American workers and raise American wages.”
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA’s director of international affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.