US likely to rejoin TTP trade deal

In a move which may lead to a major policy reversal, US President Donald Trump has asked two top officials to review Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The move is seen as a way to counter China by leading 11 Pacific nations that believe in free trade and the rule of law unlike Beijing.  Lawmakers, who participated in a White House meeting with Trump on Thursday, said he has directed Larry Kudlow, his national economic council chairman, and Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, to take a second look at TPP. During the presidential campaign, Trump had criticised the pact. He then argued that trade deals were taking companies out of the US and this should be stopped.  Instead of TTP, he called for bilateral trade deals. Soon after assuming office in 2017, he scrapped the TTP deal. Trump had earlier hinted at rejoining TTP. Attending the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, he told CNBC he would be open to TPP if a better deal is offered.