President-elect Donald Trump said the U.S. will withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a move that would end a multi-national trade deal nearly seven years in the making, as soon as he takes office in the White House.
Trump addressed the nation on policy for the first time since his victory in the November 8 election in a Youtube video message aimed at conveying an update on the transition of power in the White House and his plans for the first 100 days in office. Previously, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have also addressed the nation during their transition into power.
"On trade, I'm going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country," Trump said. "Instead, we will negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring back jobs and industry back onto American shores."
The move was one of the six he listed as "executive actions" he would take on day, based on his core principles: putting America first. Others on that list were reforms on energy, regulation, national security, immigration, and ethics.
TPP, a trade agreement among 12 of the Pacific Rim countries including Canada, Japan, the U.S., and Australia, contains measures such as cutting a majority of tariffs, protecting the environment, and preventing child and forced labor. While the negotiations have been prolonged due to disagreements on areas such as agriculture and intellectual property, the member states agreed on November 19 to put the pact into force as soon as possible.
Following Trump's message, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that TPP would be pointless without the US because it would destroy the basic balance of profit.
"The meeting by the TPP leaders (in Peru) confirmed the strategic and economic value TPP brings," Abe said. "There was not one nation that said we should delay or stop domestic procedures in light of the US presidential election."
Abe added that he would take every opportunity to encourage the member states to complete the necessary domestic procedures to ratify the agreement.