TOKYO, Jan. 28 — A few days after 11 Pacific Rim countries paved the way for signing a new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States, President Donald Trump said he might consider rejoining the trade pact, if he could get a “better deal” for his country.
“If we did a substantially better deal, I would be open to TPP,” Trump told CNBC at the sidelines of World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
He said he would be willing to renegotiate with TPP countries, “individually, or perhaps as a group, if it is in the interests of all”.
In his delivery to the world business and political leaders gathered in the Swiss Alpine resort, Trump said, “America first did not mean America alone,” referring to his policy.
“When the United States grows, so does the world,” he argued, as it gave rise to trade, created jobs and opened the way for businesses to start investing in the U.S. again.
But Trump also made clear that while the U.S. believes in free trade, “it needs to be fair, and it needs to be reciprocal.”
Japan, which has been lobbying hard for the new TPP talks with the remaining 10 members, still believes that the partnership, as it stands, is a good deal for the U.S. and it woos Washington to come back to the pact.
On Jan. 23, the remaining TPP members agreed that 22 provisions in the original TPP will be put on ice, until the U.S. returns to the pact.