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Trump vows to dump trade agreement on day one

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US president-elect Donald Trump says he’ll begin to withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal on his first day in office.

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Calling the 12-nation agreement “a potential disaster for our country”, Trump said he would file a notification of intent to withdraw from the deal pushed by President Barack Obama as soon as he takes office on January 20.

Instead, Trump, who had long flagged he would dump the TPP, said he would pursue “fair” bilateral trade agreements.

Australia is one of the key signatories to the TPP and the issue had been discussed at the APEC leaders forum in Peru last weekend.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had been optimistic Trump might have a change of heart.

“It may well be over time that the TPP is embraced by the United States… perhaps in the same form it is today, perhaps in a different form,” he said in Lima on Sunday.

Trump on Monday released a video updating the American people on his transition planning for the White House.

He said his team was “working very smoothly, efficiently and effectively.”

“Truly great and talented men and women, patriots indeed, are being brought in and many will soon be a part of our government helping us to make America great again.”

The TPP would be meaningless without US participation, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.

Abe, who attended the APEC summit in Lima, said there was no discussion at the meeting that other members should try to put the TPP into effect without the United States.

“The TPP would be meaningless without the United States,” Abe said.

AAP

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