Donald Trump to withdraw US from Trans-Pacific Partnership 'on first day in office'

TPP took seven years to negotiate between 12 countries

Donald Trump to withdraw US from Trans-Pacific Partnership 'on first day in office'

Image: Facebook/Donald J. Trump

Donald Trump says he will issue an executive action on his first day in office to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In a video updating Americans on the White House transition, the president-elect described TPP as a "potential disaster for our country".

The TPP was designed to bring down tariffs and trade barriers between America and a number of Pacific Rim nations including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Malaysia and Chile.

Mr Trump said his administration instead intends to generate "fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores".

In the clip uploaded on Facebook, the president-elect also expressed his intent to cut red tape - saying that "for every new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated".

Also during his filmed address on Facebook, the president-elect said his White House transition team was working "very smoothly, efficiently and effectively" ahead of the handover of power on January 20th.

A number of major roles remain up for grabs in Mr Trump's administration, but he has dismissed reports in recent days that his cabinet selection process is in disarray.

Mr Trump has been very critical of what trade deals have done for American workers and the damage that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) did in the 1990s - particularly to low-income workers in the Midwest, who it turns out voted for Mr Trump in huge numbers.

NAFTA was a trade deal which reduced tariffs between the US, Canada and Mexico - with estimates suggesting that Mexican exports to North America have doubled since it was signed.

The president-elect's announcement comes days after his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump Tower in New York.

Barely an hour before Mr Trump confirmed his intent to withdraw from Trans-Pacific Partnership, Mr Abe had said TPP would be "meaningless" without the US.

Mr Trump's declaration is also likely to disappoint Barack Obama, who has been calling for the US to reaffirm its support for the trade deal.

The outgoing president had warned abandoning TPP would cause the US to lose an opportunity to shape the rules of global trade "in a way that reflects our values".

Mr Trump has also reacted angrily to a Saturday Night Live skit - which depicted him as overwhelmed and bumbling as he goes about choosing his top team and following up campaign promises.

Alec Baldwin, whose unflattering impression of the Republican proved a big hit with critics in the run-up to the election, has defended the sketch.

Mr Trump also made an interesting comment over a British ambassador to the US he would like to see: