Trump Withdraws U.S. From Trans-Pacific Partnership

 President Donald Trump Monday formally pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation trade agreement that was negotiated by Barack Obama and became a lightning rod for criticism in the 2016 election. 

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Mr. Trump's move was the fulfillment of a campaign promise to end U.S. participation in the proposed TPP deal, which was aimed at eliminating most tariffs and other trade barriers among the U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Vietnam and half a dozen other countries around the Pacific. China is excluded from the deal. 

The memorandum announcing Mr. Trump's decision was largely symbolic, because congressional leaders and the Obama administration had signaled in November that no near-term vote would be held on the TPP. 

Still, Mr. Trump's decision to bury Mr. Obama's agreement in his first week shows he is serious about shifting U.S. trade policy and jettisoning decades of mostly steady trade liberalization in favor of more confrontation with China and other trading partners, with the potential for big tariffs if those countries don't come to the table ready to make concessions. 

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