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U.S. trade rep says no return to TPP deal and wants bilateral deals in Asia
May 21, 2017 / 7:18 AM / 7 months ago

U.S. trade rep says no return to TPP deal and wants bilateral deals in Asia

HANOI (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Sunday that the United States would not return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal after 11 remaining countries earlier agreed to look at how they could move ahead without it.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer (C) leaves a press conference during the APEC Ministers Responsible For Trade (APEC MRT 23) meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam May 21, 2017. REUTERS/Kham

He said the United States favoured bilateral over multilateral trade deals and he expected a series of agreements in the region, where he is attending a meeting of ministers from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries.

“The United States pulled out of the TPP and it’s not going to change that decision. That does not mean we will not engage in this region,” Lighthizer told a news conference in Hanoi, Vietnam.

“The president made a decision, that I certainly agree with, that bilateral negotiations are better for the United States than multilateral negotiations.”

Asked why the United States was against using language opposing protectionism, he said it favoured free trade, but would defend against unfair trade.

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Writing by Matthew Tostevin; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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