Trump Is Pretending He Wants to Rejoin TPP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Behold our president:

President Trump, in a stunning reversal, told a gathering of farm state lawmakers and governors on Thursday morning that he was directing his advisers to look into rejoining the multicountry trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal he pulled out of within days of assuming the presidency.

Ramesh Ponnuru says: “It would be easy for Trump critics to use this episode to point out the thoughtlessness and malleability of some Trump stances and the emptiness of some of his words. Senator Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) is probably right, though, to take the high road.”

I applaud Sasse’s forbearance, but I’m not really in a high-road mood these days. My guess is that our moron-in-chief has finally figured out that TPP was, to a large extent, explicitly designed to create a trade region that excludes China, so now he’s suddenly interested in it. Or, more to the point, he says he is. I doubt that Trump actually cares much about it except as a way to make China nervous, since this kind of dimwitted bluffing is really all he knows. I imagine he’ll lose interest once the China trade war has played out. TPP haters can probably relax.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend