Lawmakers Ask Tai to Reconsider Trump’s ‘Misguided’ TPP Withdrawal

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Member Countries and U.S. Congress

Trade Update • MAY 7, 2021

Leaders of the Senate Finance trade subcommittee sent a letter on Thursday to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, calling on the Biden administration to reconsider former President Trump’s “misguided” and “short-sighted” decision in 2017 to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Subcommittee chairman Tom Carper (D-DE) and ranking member John Cornyn (R-TX), along with two other lawmakers from the House said pulling out of the agreement “has only served to weaken the United States, empower China, put American workers and businesses at a competitive disadvantage, and cede leadership in arguably the most strategically vital and economically dynamic region of the world.”

The letter asked Tai to re-engage with allies in the Asia-Pacific region to develop multilateral, free-trade partnerships. “Our current trade policy in the Asia-Pacific region is in need of a strategic direction that includes robust engagement with our allies in the region, similar to what was envisioned by the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership,” they said.

The lawmakers acknowledge that much has changed in the years since the negotiation of the TPP, and that hammering out a deal to rejoin the subsequently renamed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in its current form would face “significant political obstacles” in Congress. Even so, they believe that broad bipartisan support for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement serves as an example of U.S. leaders’ ability “to engage with our allies to write the rules of international trade.”

Related Information

Sign Up for Trade Updates

Get weekly or daily insights into all things trade, delivered right to your inbox.

* indicates required