US to quit Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, says Donald Trump

Republican billionaire plans on dismantling agreement on first day in White House

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The Independent US

President-elect Donald Trump says US will quit Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal on his first day in office.

The video message released on YouTube was Mr Trump's first public address on policy since his interview on 60 Minutes

On the trade deal, the billionaire property tycoon said: "On trade, I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a potential disaster for our country.

"Instead we will negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back on to American shores."

The TPP trade deal was signed by 12 countries which together make up almost half the world's economy.

During the message he also said he would "cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy" — including shale production.

Despite his elusiveness in recent days, Mr Trump gave an optimistic update on the state of the transition. 

"Our transition team is working very smoothly, efficiently, and effectively," he said. "Truly great and talented men and women – patriots indeed are being brought in – and many will soon be a part of our government, help us to make America great again."

Absent from his address were some of his more controversial day-one policy proposals. Throughout his campaign, Mr Trump promised that he would repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, and build a wall along the southern border between the US and Mexico. 

However, Mr Trump had softened his tone on Obamacare, and said that he would be open to keeping some parts of the healthcare law. Similarly, while he still insisted that he will build a wall on the border, he admitted that a portion of the structure would be a fence. He did not clarify whether he would replace the militarised wall and fence that currently exists along the 2,000 mile boundary.

Still, he did not stray from his promise to deport millions of unauthorised immigrants in the US. 

"What we are going to do is get the people that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers, where a lot of these people, probably two million – it could be even three million – we are getting them out of the country or we are going to incarcerate," he told 60 Minutes.

"Be we’re getting them out of the country, they’re here illegally."