Donald Trump eyeing return to TPP tade pact: US Senators

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Trump authorized the USA trade representative Robert Lighthizer and the director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow to look into the possibility of re-joining such an agreement, more than year after withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

"Trump talks tough on trade, but the reality is that since he has been president our trade deficits with China and Mexico have gone up by more than $35 billion".

In his remarks on Thursday, Trump cited a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping that the USA president interprets as a signal China is about to open its markets to more US goods.

One of Trump's first moves in office was to formally scrap United States participation in the pact - which had been criticized by politicians from the left as well as the right as being overly secretive and potentially damaging to workers' rights.

He said that at one point in the discussion, the president looked at Kudlow and said, "Go get it done".

"We should be leading TPP", Sasse said.

Eleven countries signed the agreement last month.

Trump first disclosed his request Thursday to a group of lawmakers at a White House meeting on trade.

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Fischer said that the president also discussed the importance of ethanol and the renegotiation of NAFTA with the president.

"Now we're really negotiating and I think they're going to treat us really fairly", Trump said during a White House meeting with Republican governors and lawmakers from farm states, "I think they want to". Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news. Midwest farmers fear becoming caught up in a trade war as Beijing threatens to impose tariffs on soybeans and other US crops, a big blow to Midwestern farmers, many of whom are strong Trump supporters.

The president is also running into strong pushback from Republican lawmakers, particularly those representing agricultural regions where China's threatened retaliation against USA exports would hit hard.

The meetings came as an array of business executives and trade groups expressed alarm to federal lawmakers Thursday about the impact that tariffs will have on their business.

The U.S. and China are in the early stages of what could be the biggest trade battle in more than a half century.

Other countries in the pact, including Australia and Japan, have moved forward on the trade agreement, recently signing the TPP-11, which didn't include the United States.

Associated Press writers Catherine Lucey, Jill Colvin and Matthew Daly in Washington and James MacPherson in Bismarck, North Dakota, contributed.

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