New Zealand Wary Of Trump's Pacific Trade U-Turn

Donald Trump Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani

Even as officials in other countries expressed skepticism Friday, they said they would like to hear what Washington has to offer.

Ministers from Japan, Australia and Malaysia welcomed President Donald Trump directing officials to explore returning to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pact he withdrew from shortly after coming to office. "We're here to advocate for the industry - that's No. 1 - but we also are here to sift through some of the rhetoric and line that up with the reality", Priest said.

Both Democrats and Republicans attacked the deal during the presidential campaign, but many business leaders were disappointed when Trump withdrew from the agreement, arguing that the United States would end up with less favorable terms attempting to broker an array of individual trade pacts and that scrapping the deal would empower China.

While the news should be music to the ears of trade organizations such as the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America and the American Apparel & Footwear Association - which both made an aggressive push for the U.S.to remain in the agreement a year ago - FDRA president and CEO Matt Priest said he's holding off on a full-on celebration.

Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan's minister for the TPP, also said it would be hard to change the deal, describing it as a "balanced one, like fine glassware".

Trump has talked about rejoining the deal before, but only if the US gets substantially better terms - which would take even more diplomatic wrangling to secure. "I think they want to". "Lighthizer [who is U.S. Trade Representative] and [National Economic Council] Director Kudlow to take another look at whether or not a better deal could be negotiated". She says mixed signals from the administration could cause problems. And now it's $500 billion in deficits and a theft of $300 billion in intellectual property.

The pact, which was conceived as a counterweight to Beijing's rising economic power in the region, had been negotiated under the administration of former US president Barack Obama, but never approved by US Congress. For instance, ranchers in Australia can send beef to Japan more cheaply than ranchers in the US. Ben Sasse of Nebraska told reporters Thursday after meeting with Trump at the White House.

Trump withdrew the United States from the accord during his first week in office. "You'd need a whole renegotiation".

The news drew a rebuke from opponents of the multilateral trade pact.

TPP had broad support among many farmers, as it was aimed at cutting trade barriers, such as tariffs, and opening new markets for exports and imports.

Comparing the multicountry trade agreement to "a glasswork", Yoshihide Suga, Japan's chief cabinet secretary, cautioned against any efforts to change it to accommodate Trump.

The 11 remaining nations represent 13% of global output and include Japan and Canada.

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