Trump pledges to dump Pacific trade deal on first day in office

US President-elect Donald Trump © Mike Segar
US President-elect Donald Trump has promised to pull America out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal once he takes office in January.

Trump released a video message revealing the first steps he plans to take as president. Quitting the TPP will be a priority, according to Trump.

“My agenda will be based on a simple core principle: putting America first,” he said, calling for fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back to American shores.

“Whether it's producing steel, building cars or curing disease, I want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right here on our great homeland, America,” Trump said.

The TPP trade deal, signed in 2016 after seven years of negotiations, includes twelve countries: the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru. Altogether, the trading partners cover 40 percent of the global economy.

The agreement was set to enforce economic ties between the members, as well as to boost growth by reducing tariffs among other things. Labor and environmental standards, copyrights and patents issues, as well as some other legal protections, were among the key measures accepted by the countries.

Opposition to TPP claims the deal was negotiated in secret and lobbied by big international corporations.

Trump described the deal as “a potential disaster” for the US.

“I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Trump said, confirming the promises he had been campaigning on.

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Shortly before the video was released, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said TTP would be meaningless without US participation.