Donald Trump says he would consider re-entering the US in the Trans-Pacific Partnership but Malcolm Turnbull can’t see that happening.
May reconsider TPP if America gets a better deal
The United States would stay in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as TPP, if American negotiators were able to create a better agreement, US President Donald Trump says.
“I would do the TPP if we made a much better deal than we had. We had a horrible deal,” Mr Trump said in an interview with CNBC from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.
However Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who will meet with President Trump in Washington DC next month, doubts it will happen.
“Donald Trump and I have talked about trade pretty much every time we’ve met but I don’t expect the United States to join the TPP any time soon,” Mr Turnbull said.
“We’re certainly not counting on it. It would be great if they did.
“It is a real engine for jobs, for investment. There are thousands of jobs that will be created by the TPP. Of course it would be a bigger deal if the United States was in it.
“It will become a bigger deal when other countries join. Indonesia has expressed strong interest. So has Thailand, South Korea.
“Even the UK has expressed interest in talking about it. It’s been set up on the basis that it is a trade deal that can admit new members, or even readmit a member like the United States, that chose to pull out.
“This Trans-Pacific Partnership has been the product of enormous consultation over many years, and the whole process is one that has been very open, very transparent.”
TPP-11 have signed a new agreement when Trump pulled the US out
Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Japan are among the 11 Pacific nations that have signed up to the controversial pact, which was thrown into disarray last year when Mr Trump pulled the US out.
The ALP claims a new Pacific region trade pact is in line with its values and rejects suggestions from the Turnbull government that it will veto the agreement.
Eleven nations including Australia are set to sign a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership on March 8 in Chile, despite the United States withdrawing. The federal opposition says independent modelling is needed before parliament approves the deal.
But Treasurer Scott Morrison says Labor is stalling and modelling is not needed to prove “economic common sense”.
“Labor would think you’d need economic modelling to decide whether you put your pants on one leg at a time,” Mr Morrison told Sky News on Thursday.
However, Labor frontbencher Richard Marles said there was a “lot of politics” in Mr Morrison’s comment.
“If you look at Labor’s history and how we go about things right now, we have always been in favour of trade liberalisation,” he said.
“The TPP itself really is the practical trade manifestation of APEC and the Hawke-Keating (Labor) government was absolutely instrumental in having APEC established.”
Labor leader Bill Shorten said his party was open to considering the agreement, as it had done with other recent free trade deals.
“If you’re buying a car, you don’t get the mechanic’s report after you’ve bought it,” Mr Shorten told reporters in Brisbane.
“Let’s see the evidence, and we’ll back it 100 per cent. If it’s a dud deal, then the worst that’s happened is we’ve stopped a dud deal from going through.”
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said Labor needed to make its position clear immediately.
On Wednesday the prime minister — who is expected to hold talks with Mr Trump in February — said while he would encourage the US to come back into the TPP, he didn’t think there was “any prospect” of it. However the trade deal includes provisions for the US to join.
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