President Donald Trump signed an executive order formally withdrawing the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on Monday, following through on a promise from his campaign last year.
In an Oval Office ceremony, Trump also signed an order imposing a federal hiring freeze and a directive banning U.S. non-governmental organizations receive federal funding from providing abortions abroad.
Trump called the TPP order a “great thing for the American worker.”
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said abandoning TPP was the “wrong decision” and a “serious mistake that will have lasting consequences for America’s economy and our strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region.”
“This decision will forfeit the opportunity to promote American exports, reduce trade barriers, open new markets, and protect American invention and innovation. It will create an opening for China to rewrite the economic rules of the road at the expense of American workers. And it will send a troubling signal of American disengagement in the Asia-Pacific region at a time we can least afford it,” said McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
McCain emphasized the importance of a “positive trade agenda” in the Asia-Pacific region that keeps America “competitive in one of the most economically vibrant and fastest-growing regions in the world.”