Trump pulls US from Asian trade partnership

In a meeting with leading manufacturers President Trump also pledged to cut corporate taxes and regulations

Trump pulls US from Asian trade partnership

President Donald Trump after signing an executive order in the Oval Office, 23-01-2017. Image: Evan Vucci AP/Press Association Images

Updated 19:00

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to withdraw the United States from a sweeping trade deal with Asia.

The agreement 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.

He had promised to take the action in November, describing the trade deal as a "potential disaster for our country."

The action will be seen as one of the first steps in re-casting America’s role in the global economy - although the deal would likely have struggled to make it through US Congress with or without the move.

Trump called the move "a great thing for the American workers."

It remains unclear if his administration will now seek individual deals with the 11 other nations involved in the partnership - a group that represents approximately 13.5% of the global economy, according to World Bank figures. 

Cuts to regulations and corporate tax

Earlier the President met with a dozen American manufacturers at the White House and pledged to slash regulations and cut corporate taxes.

Reuters reports that Mr Trump told the business leaders from companies including Ford, Dell and Tesla that he would like to cut corporate taxes to between 15% and 20% - down from 35% - and is aiming to cut regulations by 75% or more.

President Trump again warned that companies who move their operations outside the US would pay a price - with plans to introduce a “vary major border tax” on incoming product.

"All you have to do is stay," he told the executives. "Don't leave. Don't fire your people in the United States."

Executive orders

President Trump has also signed two other executive orders.

One bans US non-governmental organisations that receive federal funding from providing terminations abroad while the other imposes a freeze on federal hiring.

Additional reporting from IRN