- The Washington Times - Friday, January 26, 2018

President Trump said he is open to entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership if the U.S. was able to “make a substantially better deal,” CNBC reported on Friday.

“I would do TPP if we made a much better deal than we had. We had a horrible deal. The deal was a horrible deal,” Mr. Trump said in the interview.

The U.S. decided not to enter TPP under former President Barack Obama, but Mr. Trump said he’d consider joining if the terms could be renegotiated. He said large, multi-country trade deals are difficult to enter into because if the deal doesn’t work out in the long-term, then it’s much harder to exit the agreement than if it’s just between two countries.

Mr. Trump also talked about renegotiating NAFTA — the North American Free Trade Agreement — saying that since the U.S. was part of the agreement prior to him entering office, he’s working to renegotiate, but he did not rule out pulling out of the agreement. 

“NAFTA’s a horrible deal. We’re renegotiating it. I may terminate NAFTA. I may not. We’ll see what happens. But NAFTA was and I went around and I’d tell stadiums full of people, ‘I’ll terminate it or renegotiate it,’ ” he said.

Mr. Trump said he believes there’s “a good chance” NAFTA will be renegotiated with new terms, but he did not say what those new conditions would look like.

Regarding TPP, a senior administration official told reporters that Mr. Trump isn’t rethinking his decision of last year.

“His campaign promise was not to be in the TPP as it exists. He stands by that decision,” the official said. “What he indicated in the [CNBC] interview is a willingness to perhaps enter a similar trade arrangement with the same nations on different terms, if those terms are fundamentally more favorable to the United States.”

Dave Boyer contributed to this article.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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