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I'm 'most impressed' with Trump's openness to massive Pacific trade deal, bank chairman says

  • Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Friday, Wiebe Draijer, chairman of the executive board at Rabobank, told CNBC: "I was most impressed by the clear signal that Trump also gave that he is willing to renegotiate."
  • On Thursday, Trump told CNBC he would consider re-shaping the TPP in an effort to get a "substantially better deal."

President Donald Trump's willingness to reconsider the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is an encouraging development for Rabobank.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Friday, Wiebe Draijer, chairman of the executive board at the Dutch lender, told CNBC: "I was most impressed by the clear signal that Trump also gave that he is willing to renegotiate."

"I think that he has really made a statement that he is for trade rather than against trade," he added.

'Risky to start playing around' with TPP

On Thursday, Trump told CNBC he would consider re-shaping the TPP in an effort to get a "substantially better deal." However, it is seen as almost certainly too late for Washington to negotiate a new agreement.

TPP was a 12-nation agreement among the United States and Pacific rim countries. It 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.

And while Trump has since said he is prepared to work with other nations to overhaul the trade deal, it seems likely to be too late. 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.

Nonetheless, while Rabobank's Draijer warned it was "risky to start playing around with these trade agreements," he said Trump's openness for future discussions was a sign of "encouragement."

— CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.