WASHINGTON -- A senior U.S. administration official has said there is room to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal with numerous countries.
David Malpass, U.S. Treasury undersecretary for international affairs, made the remark during a lecture in Washington on Wednesday, a few weeks after President Donald Trump made it clear that his administration will consider returning to the TPP.
Although Malpass, like Trump, referred to the possibility of rejoining the TPP if the pact is reviewed, Japan and other TPP countries are not inclined to renegotiate.
Malpass said Trump has changed his mind because the TPP could become favorable for American workers.
While acknowledging that there are excellent provisions in the TPP, the high-ranking Treasury Department official said there are still many problems and called for a review.
Trump withdrew the U.S. from the TPP immediately after taking office in January 2017. Now Japan and 10 other TPP member nations are aiming to sign a new TPP deal next month; they also hope to swiftly put it into effect.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said, "It is extremely difficult to review the pact." Japan and other TPP members are poised to call for the U.S. to return to the pact without renegotiating it.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 25, Trump said the U.S. would rejoin the TPP if "we made a much better deal than we had."
"I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal," Trump said in an interview with American broadcaster CNBC.