Trump formally withdraws US from Trans-Pacific Partnership

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US President Donald Trump has formally withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. He signed the executive order, following through on his promise in his presidential campaign.

"We've been talking about this for a long time," Trump said as he signed the executive order in the Oval Office on Monday (23 Jan). He called the move is a ‘great thing for the American worker’.

The TPP consent was negotiated by former President Barack Obama's administration and signed by 12 countries in 2015, but it has not been approved by the US Congress.

The TPP was signed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Brunei. Together they represent 40 percent of the world economy.

It had been the main economic pillar of the Obama administration's ‘pivot’ to the Asia-Pacific region to counter China but Trump’s withdrawal is likely to end this move.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had emphasised the importance of the TPP during his visit to the US and called US out when both candidates during the US Presidential Election did not support TPP. He stated that the United States risks injuring its standing and credibility with countries around the world if the TPP trade deal is rejected by its lawmakers.

Trump had earlier accused the TPP of allowing Singapore to steal jobs from Americans and Aljazeera reported that he called it a ‘potential disaster‘ during his campaign.

Trump, who has taken office on 20 January, also signed an order enforcing a federal hiring freeze, with the exception of the military and additionally, he signed a directive to ban the US non-governmental organisations that perform abortions abroad from receiving federal funding.

The new US President is looking to implement his policy agenda, he tweeted Monday morning, "Busy week planned with a heavy focus on jobs and national security."

The US television ratings showed 31 million people watched Trump’s inauguration, 11 million more than the ratings from 4 years ago.

But following his sworn in, on Saturday several million Americans poured onto the streets for women-led demonstrations rebuking against Trump.

On the criticism against him, Trump wrote in his twitter, “Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.”