Trump to ‘withdraw from Trans-Pacific Partnership’ on day one

President-elect releases video setting out priorities, says Farage would be a good ambassador to US

In a video posted on YouTube, Donald Trump outlines his policy plans for his first 100 days in office, vowing to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, cancel some restrictions on energy production and cut government regulations.

 

Donald Trump has issued a video outlining his policy plans for his first 100 days in office and vowed to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership “from day one”.

In brief video clip posted to YouTube on Monday night, the president-elect said “our transition team is working very smoothly, efficiently, and effectively”, contradicting a wealth of media reports telling of chaos in Trump Tower as Mr Trump struggles to build a team.

In the video Mr Trump laid out actions he will take on his first day in office including directing the Department of Labor “to investigate all abuses of visa programmes that undercut the American worker” and withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Mr Trump also said he would issue a rule cutting government regulations and cancel some restrictions on energy production, including shale oil and gas and coal.

In the video, Mr Trump said his agenda would “be based on a simple core principle: putting America first. Whether it’s producing steel, building cars, or curing disease, I want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right here”.

He had asked his transition team “to develop a list of executive actions we can take on day one to restore our laws and bring back our jobs”.

Mr Trump described the trade deal as “a potential disaster for our country”. Instead he said he would “negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back”.

Mr Trump also said many people would like to see Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage as British ambassador to Washington.

“Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job!” MrTrump said on Twitter.

Mr Farage, one of the leaders of the successful referendum fight for Britain to leave the European Union, spoke at a Trump rally during the U.S. campaign and visited the president-elect after his victory.

“There is no vacancy,” a Downing Street spokesman said when asked about Mr Trump’s remark on Tuesday. “We already have an excellent ambassador to the US.”

‘Meaningless’

Hours before Mr Trump’s announcement, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, warned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be “meaningless” without US participation.

Speaking to reporters in Buenos Aires on Monday, Mr Abe conceded that other TPP countries had not discussed how to rescue the agreement if Trump carried out his promise to withdraw.

The TPP, which excludes China, is thought to have been high on Mr Abe’s agenda when he became the first foreign leader to meet the president-elect in New York last week.

Mr Trump’s determination to rip up the agreement will have horrified Mr Abe, particularly after the property billionaire appeared to have softened his stance on other campaign threats, such as downgrading Washington’s security commitment to allies Japan and South Korea.

Mr Abe invested considerable political capital in pushing for TPP, which was signed in 2015 but has yet to be ratified, including overcoming strong opposition from Japan’s influential farming lobby.

While China declined to join the TPP, feeling it was designed to isolate it politically and economically, the wider implications of the US going back on a trade deal that took seven years to negotiate is likely to harm China in the long term.

“The US leaving TPP is a problem of America rejecting globalisation,” said Da Wei, an expert on the US at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations. “China is a beneficiary of globalisation and China is not willing to see the tide of globalisation ebb.”

While some Chinese may be happy at what they see as a political failure for the US, ultimately “China disapproves of this, China is anxious about the retreat of globalization,” Mr Da said.

US-China relations

Mr Trump’s wider trade rhetoric could damage US-China relations, with his promotion of “economic nationalism” at the centre of his frequent attacks on the world’s second largest economy, Da added.

Last week an editorial in the Communist party-controlled Global Times warned “Making things difficult for China politically will do him no good,” referring to Mr Trump.

Meanwhile, the Australian government seemed reluctant to give up on the TPP deal entirely. Australia’s prime minister, who has just returned from a 25,000km round-trip to Peru to reinforce support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, stressed the importance of the agreement as a “strategic commitment.”

Mr Turnbull said it was up to Mr Trump and his new Congress to make decisions about what they believed was in their nation’s interest.

“It is very clear that from Australia’s point of view, getting greater access for Australian exports ... to those big markets is manifestly in our interest,” he said.

Steve Ciobo, the trade minister, said the TPP was “a good deal” and Australia wanted to move forward with it. Speaking to the media in Canberra, he said there was still time for the US administration to reconsider its position before the TPP needs to be ratified.

“We need to let the incoming Trump administration have some time, let’s have some patience,” he said.

These include:

- Issuing notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Mr Trump described as “a potential disaster for our country”. Instead his administration would “negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores”.

- The cancellation of “job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy – including shale energy and clean coal”.

- The introduction of a rule “which says that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated”.

- The department of defence and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff will be asked to develop a plan “to protect America’s vital infrastructure from cyber attacks, and all other form of attacks”.

- The Department of Labor “will investigate all abuses of visa programmes that undercut the American worker”

- A five-year ban will be imposed on “executive officials becoming lobbyists after they leave the administration – and a lifetime ban on executive officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government”.

Mr Trump said he would “provide more updates in the coming days”.

Guardian and agencies