"The Trans-Pacific Partnership is another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country", Trump said in June 2016. Trump authorized the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and the director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow to look into the possibility of re-joining such an agreement, more than year after withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
"Very thankful for President Xi of China's kind words on tariffs and automobile barriers", Trump said on Twitter on Tuesday. Ben Sasse, R-Neb. Sasse said Trump turned to Kudlow during the meeting and said: "Larry, go get it done".
Sasse released a formal statement following the meeting with the president. "The best point the united states of america could do in order to push against Chinese cheating will be always to lead the other 1-1 Pacific nations that believe in free trade and also the principle of law", Mr. Sasse said in a declaration.
He added, "It is good news that today the President directed Larry Kudlow and Ambassador Lighthizer to negotiate US entry into TPP".
During a February news conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Trump raised the possibility of rejoining TPP if the negotiators offered more favorable terms.
Following a meeting between the president, his advisers and members of Congress today, Sasse told reporters that Trump had advanced in his thinking on TPP, which he withdrew from shortly after taking office past year. A trade war with China could possibly be especially devastating to rural markets, particularly to pig farmers and soybean and corn growers.
During his first week in office, Trump withdrew the USA from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Attending the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, he told CNBC: "I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal".
"Now we're really negotiating and I think they're going to treat us really fairly", Trump said during a White House meeting with Republican governors and lawmakers from farm states, "I think they want to". He said that's shifting work to competitors outside the USA including in Canada and Mexico because they now enjoy a big edge on material costs.
The Turnbull government has been in negotiations with U.S. respresentatives about rejoining and Turnbull has repeatedly said that the door "remains open" to the US.
This is not the first time Trump has suggested United States participation in TPP could be back on the table.
The New York Times reported the reversal would be a big boon to some industries, presumably including Iowa ag operations and manufacturing, and to GOP lawmakers who had supported TPP.