22 Nov 2016

Trump details plan to dump TPP on day one

5:42 pm on 22 November 2016

United States President-elect Donald Trump will withdraw the country from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on his first day in office with an executive action, he says.

Mr Trump released a video today laying out actions he would take on his first day in office on 20 January, including withdrawing the US from the free trade deal.

That included issuing a notification of intent to withdraw from the TPP, instead negotiating with countries bilaterally.

He also said he would issue a rule cutting government regulations, direct the Labor Department to investigate abuses of visa programs, and cancel some restrictions on energy production, including shale oil and gas and coal.

He said he would reduce regulations by passing a law requiring two to be removed for every new regulation enacted.

On his plan to as he called it "drain the swamp" of corrupt politicians in Washington, he would impose a five-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists after leaving the administration and a lifetime ban on those officials lobbying on behalf of foreign governments.

Mr Trump has said he was not opposed to trade deals, but would sign only those he considers best for America.

In his victory speech, he said the US will "get along" with all countries willing to get along with it.

At the APEC summit in Peru this week, countries which have signed up to TPP, including New Zealand, expressed disappointment over Mr Trump's intentions to pull the US out.

President Barack Obama also said that not moving ahead with TPP would undermine America's position across the Asia-Pacific region. Mr Obama championed the TPP as a way to counter China's rise.

Prime Minister John Key has said he is still prepared to push on with the TPP, even without the US.

Media conference in the bunker at Parliament. John Key speaks to media.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Mr Key said at the APEC summit that if the TPP stood without the US, New Zealand could still reap about two-thirds of the $2.7 billion in estimated benefits.

The TPP agreement includes 12 nations including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam as well as New Zealand and the US.

Of those, New Zealand currently does not have free trade agreements with the US, Japan, Mexico, Canada or Peru.

The proposed deal was finalised between the 12 nations in Auckland in February.

New Zealand's government has already signed the legislation allowing the country to join the agreement, though it remains the only country to have done so.

Trade Minister Todd McClay said Mr Trump's comments today changed nothing.

He said the comments were nothing new and New Zealand would wait to see what actions the Trump administration actually took.

Mr McClay said even without the US, the trade deal could still be New Zealand's first free trade agreement with Peru, Mexico, Canada and Japan.

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New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The New Zealand Labour and Green parties opposed the bill.

The TPP has faced protests and opposition, particularly over a provision giving corporations greater rights to sue governments for introducing legislation that harmed their investments.

China has been pushing for its own TPP-like trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which involved 16 nations.

Negotiations on RCEP have been continuing for three years.

The nations involved include Brunei-Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand.

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