With Vice President Mike Pence, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and chief strategist Steve Bannon gathered around his desk, President Donald Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying, “Everyone knows what that means, right? We’ve been talking about this for a long time.”
Holding the document up for the cameras, he said, “Okay, a great thing for the American worker, what we just did.” By and large, Republicans supported the TPP, and this will be just one of many bones of contention between the GOP leadership and the new president.
Trump signed two additional executive orders: a federal hiring freeze except for the military and re-implementation of the so-called Mexico City rule which had been rescinded by President Obama, limiting abortion funding overseas.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan immediately issued a statement on Trump’s actions:
My statement applauding President Trump’s first executive actions ↓ https://t.co/wfVSl6KagV pic.twitter.com/iwOvz7DZEb
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 23, 2017
Nancy Pelosi also issued a statement approving of Trump’s withdrawal from the TPP:
“President Trump will notice that thanks to largely Democratic and steadfast opposition to enacting a job-killing trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership never became law in the United States. We will see how many Republicans now pretend to have been on the same side as Democrats in demanding a better trade agreement for American workers.
“Democrats hope that today’s largely symbolic action will be followed by more serious steps to raise wages and create more good-paying jobs for hard-working Americans. If the President is serious about building an economy that works for American workers, Democrats are serious about working constructively toward common ground.”
Despite President Obama’s support for the TPP, many Democrats, as noted by Pelosi, had opposed the trade deal. It is noteworthy that Sen. John McCain supported TPP and condemned Trump’s actions:
.@POTUS withdrawing from #TPP is a serious mistake for America’s economy & strategic position in the #Asia-Pacific https://t.co/psDxmNaeZ3
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) January 23, 2017
Donald Trump, calling it “insanity,” had promised to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership on his first day of office. Therefore, Trump’s actions with regard the TPP, albeit a couple of days late, count as a promise kept.