Washington Trade Advocates Disappointed By Trump's Withdrawl From Pacific Trade Deal

Jan 24, 2017

Trade advocates in Washington state are feeling disappointed after President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The TPP is a trade pact between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries, including Canada and Japan. 

The agreement was signed by all twelve countries, but Congress never passed it. Trump and other TPP critics have said the partnership would have been good for corporate interests and bad for American workers.

But according to the Washington Council on International Trade, the agreement could have led to thousands of new jobs and billions more in exports in a state where about 40 percent of jobs are tied to trade.

"We have industries like agriculture, technology, aerospace, manufacturing —  industries that are highly dependent on trade," council president Lori Otto Punke said.

The TPP met with a lot of opposition on the campaign trail from both sides. Punke said although the president's move was disappointing, it was not surprising.

The Trump administration has said it will push for bilateral trade agreements in the future.

"If TPP is off the table, how can we bring back the best pieces of TPP into another agreement?" Punke said. "I think that part of it really looking back at ... what the good things were about it that people on both sides of the aisle could agree on."

Those include the pact's elimination of certain tariffs and raising labor standards throughout the Asia-Pacific region, Punke said.