All papers on Saturday published prominent reports on President Trump’s instructions to USTR Lighthizer and others to look into the possibility of rejoining the TPP, conjecturing that the President may be anxious to please American farmers who are reportedly worried that the President’s plan to impose punitive tariffs on Chinese imports may backfire by prompting Beijing to adopt retaliatory duties on American agricultural products. The papers highlighted a statement issued by Senator Sasse from Nebraska, who said: “The best thing the United States can do to push back against Chinese cheating now is to lead the other eleven Pacific nations that believe in free trade and the rule of law. It is good news that the President directed Larry Kudlow and Ambassador Lighthizer to negotiate U.S. entry into TPP.”
The papers opined that the President may need to court these voters ahead of the midterm elections. They also said although the GOJ has welcomed the U.S. leader’s renewed interest in the TPP, it is determined to reject requests for renegotiation out of concern that the President may press the current 11 members to make concessions to allow more U.S. imports. The GOJ is also reportedly afraid that renegotiations would delay the effectuation of the accord.