CANBERRA -- The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was thought to be dead on the election of Donald Trump; now the man himself has confirmed its passing.
The U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has released a video statement outlining his plans for assuming office and his first 100 days in power.
Whoa, this has just landed: President elect Trump completely bypasses media, goes straight to YouTube https://t.co/bSdpE0qDwH
— John McDuling (@jmcduling) November 21, 2016
"I've asked my transition team to develop a list of executive actions we can take on day one to restore our laws and bring back our jobs," Trump said.
Top of the list is pulling out of the yet to be finalised, world's biggest trade deal, the 12 nation Asia Pacific pact, to which Australia is a signatory.
"I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a potential disaster for our country," Trump declared.
"Instead we will negotiate a fair bilateral trade deal that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores."
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 22, 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has just returned from the APEC summit in Peru where the TPP was the "was the abiding topic of conversation", is still not entirely giving up on the pact.
"Time will tell whether and to what extent the new administration and the new Congress engages with the TPP or a evolved version of that agreement," he told reporters in Canberra.
Turnbull says there was "unanimous" commitment to TPP in Peru and its "manifestly in Australia's interest". pic.twitter.com/Uur1YF49GC
— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) November 22, 2016
"I have to say there is very strong support among the other 11 parties to the TPP to ratify it and to seek to bring it into force."
"So, indeed, there is quite an unanimous commitment on that account. So Mr Trump and his new Congress will have the make their own decisions in America's interest."
Labor's trade spokesman Jason Clare has told HuffPost Australia the Turnbull Government should realise the gig is up for tfe TPP.
"The Government should give up trying to ratify an agreement that will never come into existence," he said.
"If the Government wants to pursue an alternative agreement that doesn't involve the US, it should use the opportunity to reinstate rules that mean companies have to look for an Australian first before employing someone from overseas – rules they signed away for six countries under the TPP."
Described by Turnbull last year as a "transformational deal," the TPP was to have created the world's largest trade zone and cover drug access, food prices and rules for the digital economy.
Turnbull on TPP: It is very clear that from an Australian point of view, getting greater access for export is "manifestly in our interest"
— Henry Belot (@Henry_Belot) November 22, 2016
Thousands (more than 98 percent) of tariffs would have been eliminated in the TPP region, removing import taxes on around $9 billion of Australian trade.
A long-time TPP critic, Senator Nick Xenophon has welcomed the end of the trade pact.
"RIP TPP would be a good thing. Even the modelling carried out by the Government indicated in a best-case scenario 0.77 percent increase in GDP over a 14-year period."
"I just want Australia to negotiate these trade deals better and it is very unlikely that this deal will go through."