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Lawmakers say Trump will look into rejoining talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

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(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Farm state lawmakers say President Donald Trump has asked top administration officials to look into rejoining talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, from which the U.S. withdrew last year.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse says Trump said during a White House meeting with Midwest governors and lawmakers that he had “deputized” U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and economic adviser Larry Kudlow to look into the U.S. rejoining the TPP. It would be aimed at opening U.S. farmers to more overseas markets.

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts says Trump wants “to see if we couldn’t take another look at TPP.” Roberts says it would be “good news all throughout farm country.”

Eleven other Pacific Rim countries signed a sweeping trade agreement last month that came together after the U.S. pulled out.

Trump is seeking to reassure the lawmakers on proposed China tariffs. He’s meeting at the White House with the governors of Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota and several Midwest senators and House members.

The president says China has consistently treated U.S. agriculture unfairly and his administration is “changing things with respect to trade.”

He is telling the group, “Everything is going to be better.”

Trump was discussing the Chinese threat to slap tariffs on soybeans and other crops grown in rural America. The move could hurt Midwestern farmers, many of whom are strong supporters of the president.

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