President Donald Trump has deputized two top economic advisers to explore re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord he withdrew from after taking office, Senator Ben Sasse told reporters.
“He multiple times reaffirmed the point that TPP might be easier to join now,” Sasse said Thursday.
Two White House officials who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that the president directed economic adviser Larry Kudlow and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to explore the feasibility of re-entering the TPP. White House spokesmen didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
“That’s really good news for America and frankly it’s really good news for the rule of law and economic security in the Pacific,” said Sasse, a Nebraska Republican.
Sasse spoke to reporters at the White House on Thursday after leaving a meeting on trade Trump held with governors and lawmakers from farm states.
One of the White House officials said that while the president prefers negotiating bilateral trade deals, a multilateral deal with the TPP countries would counter Chinese competition and would be faster than negotiating one-on-one with each of the 11 other nations.