President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: If there’s no wall, there’s no DACA fix Trump appears to call out Samsung over missing FBI text messages Trump Commerce pick told lawmakers he would look at reversing Obama move on internet oversight: report MORE said Thursday he would consider re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement if the terms were more favorable to the U.S.
“I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal,” Trump told CNBC during an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Trump called the Pacific Rim trade pact a “horrible deal” as written.
The comments mark the first time Trump has raised the possibility of re-joining the sweeping trade agreement, which was championed by former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Regulation: Trump’s former chemical safety nominee leaving EPA | Senate confirms Powell as Fed chair | NTSB ‘gathering information’ on Tesla crash Obama officiates former staffers’ wedding in DC Biden on Russia: Easy to say we should’ve said more MORE .
It’s a surprising stance for Trump, who won the 2016 election on a promise to take a more protectionist stance on trade.
Trump railed against the TPP as a candidate and announced the U.S. would pull out of the agreement in one of his first acts as president. At the time, Trump said leaving the TPP is a “great thing for the American worker.”
But it’s unclear what, exactly, could entice Trump to re-enter the agreement. The president did not say what specific changes he wants to see made.
The president has repeatedly railed against multilateral trade pacts like TPP and the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he has threatened to exit if it cannot be re-negotiated.
Trump’s statement could irk the president’s supporters, who are already worried his appearance with billionaires and global elites in Davos clashes with the populist promises he made during the campaign.
The president is also facing pressure from free-traders, both at home and abroad, who say the U.S. could lose its leading economic role if it adopts more protectionist trade practices.
At the start of the forum, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the 11 other nations in the TPP are working toward a revised agreement.