US President Donald Trump has just days after taking office signed an executive order signalling that America will back-out of the Pacific trade pact that was a key tenet of Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia.
Mr Trump had vowed on the campaign trail to dismantle the Trans-Pacific Partnership that the billionaire businessman-cum-politician has argued is bad for US workers and companies. The move is the administration’s first major foreign policy action, but further measures related to trade are expected.
“We’ve been talking about this for a long time” Mr Trump said as he signed the order. “A great thing for the American worker what we just did”.
Mr Obama, the former US president, had hoped the TPP would cement America’s power in the region. China, which is excluded from the deal and is Asia’s biggest economy, has been flexing its muscle. The country has, for instance, marked vast claims across the South China Sea prompting a dispute with other regional players like Vietnam.
The new US president, who was sworn-in last Friday, has also vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“If our partners refuse a renegotiation that gives American workers a fair deal, then the President will give notice of the United States’ intent to withdraw from NAFTA,” the White House says on its website.
Sample the FT’s top stories for a week
You select the topic, we deliver the news.