Sanders slams Trump's proposal to rejoin Trans-Pacific Partnership

President Trump

President Donald Trump met with farm-state interests today, leaving open the possibility that the Trans Pacific Partnership, a top priority of Iowa business interests, may be renewed.

The lawmakers also told the president that joining TPP would allow the United States to counter China's trade "cheating" by "leading" countries that would rather be aligned with Washington than Beijing.

The problem is that TPP is going to open up markets and supply chains for numerous participants.

The president says China has consistently treated US agriculture unfairly and his administration is "changing things with respect to trade".

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, the chairman of the Senate agriculture, nutrition and forestry committee, said he was "very impressed" that Trump had assigned Kudlow and Lighthizer "the task to see if we couldn't take another look at TPP".

This is not the first time Trump has suggested United States participation in TPP could be back on the table.

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In February, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the USA was interested in reentering the trade agreement, but he quickly backed off those comments, making it sound like a deal would not materialize.

The president has mused publicly about rejoining the deal before, suggesting he would re-enter if he could negotiate more favorable terms.

In January 2017, Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the TPP.

In January, Mr. Trump told CNBC in an interview in Davos, Switzerland that he "would do TPP, if we made a much better deal than we had".

Kevin Kennedy, president of a steel fabrication business in Texas, said tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have led USA steel producers to raise their prices by 40 per cent. Last month, the 11 remaining countries signed an agreement in Chile, though it still has to be ratified by local officials in some countries. Lawmakers have been pressing Trump to shift course after escalating trade threats, including China's plan to slap tariffs on soybeans and other USA crops. Exports would increase, but imports would increase more. He said at the time that he would pursue individual deals with the other countries. Farm state lawmakers have pushed for greater sales of the higher ethanol blend to boost demand for the corn-based fuel. Instead, it would force more American workers to compete with desperate workers in Vietnam who make 65 cents an hour and migrant computer workers in Malaysia who are working as modern day slaves.