Trump orders US withdrawal from trans-Pacific trade deal

Donald Trump said the move was a 'great thing for the American worker'. Photograph:( AFP )

Washington, DC, United States Jan 23, 2017, 05.14 PM (IST)

President Donald Trump on Monday signed three orders on withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, freezing the hiring of federal workers and hitting foreign NGOs that help with abortion, AFP reported.

"We've been talking about this for a long time," Trump said as he signed the executive order to withdraw from the TPP in the Oval Office. "Great thing for the American worker what we just did."

The withdrawal from the trans Pacific free trade deal, which was drawn under former President Barack Obama but not ratified by the Congress, is in line with Trump's protectionist election campaign promise.  TPP had yet to go into effect and US withdrawal is likely to sound its death knell, AFP reported.

Trump had earlier denounced the TPP a "job killer" and a "rape" of US interests.

The 12-nation FTA is aimed at containing growing Chinese economic clout. It was signed by US allies Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Brunei, which together account for 40 per cent of the world economy.

Trump has also vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) -- between US, Mexico and Canada. He says the trade agreements have drained US jobs and destroyed its industrial heartlands.

The US president will also meet with union leaders and blue-collar workers several hours after signing the executive action, CNN reported.

Trump has frequently spoken out against free trade agreements and vowed to implement more protectionist trade policies and impose tariffs to revive American manufacturing.

Trump has already moved to curb Obama's health care reforms. More legal executive orders are expected on immigration and limiting environmental legislation.

(WION with inputs from AFP)