Twenty-five Republican senators authored a letter to President Trump encouraging his administration to re-engage in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement discussions, which he abandoned shortly after taking office in January 2017. Despite the withdrawal of the United States from TPP negotiations, the remaining 11 countries continued negotiating the newly approved Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which is scheduled to be signed by its member countries March 8. This prompted a recent statement by President Trump that he may be interested in the multilateral deal if it could be made “substantially better.”

The senators urged the president to prioritize TPP engagement since increased economic engagement with the involved countries “has the potential to substantially improve the competitiveness of U.S. businesses, support millions of U.S. jobs, increase U.S. exports, increase wages, fully unleash America’s energy potential, and benefit consumers.” In addition, the letter highlights the senators’ belief that re-engaging in TPP discussions can serve as a counter-balance to China’s influence in the region and as another platform to address and modernize trade with Canada and Mexico, which are parties to the CPTPP.