President Donald Trump told CNBC on Thursday that he would reconsider the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal if the United States could strike a "substantially better" agreement. But it's almost certainly too late for the U.S. to negotiate a new deal.
"I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal. The deal was terrible, the way it was structured was terrible. If we did a substantially better deal, I would be open to TPP," he said in an exclusive interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
TPP was a 12-nation agreement among the United States and Pacific rim countries that was designed in part to counter China's rising dominance of the region. But Trump withdrew from the deal last year, saying it would encourage companies to ship jobs to lower-wage countries.
Trump is probably too late to think about re-shaping the TPP, however. This week, the last of the remaining 11 countries that the U.S. abandoned agreed to move ahead without the United States. Japan and Australia are now the effective leaders of the revised deal, which is likely to be signed in March.