Presidential Memorandum
Issued on January 23rd, 2017


On January 23rd, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in order to institute his “America First Trade Policy” and enforce a “bilateral basis in negotiating future trade deals.” TPP was an agreement made by the Obama Administration which created a trade zone of twelve countries that border the Pacific Ocean, including Japan, Mexico, Canada, and Australia (including others). The agreement essentially forms stronger ties between the nations involved —slashing tariffs, encouraging trade, and enforcing trade rules— and would slowly implement these new terms over the next 15 years. LEARN MORE


TPP could be one of the most important international economic agreements in history. The key is in the long term: TPP sets up a large trading zone and the United States would be the leader. GDP, real income, and exports are expected to rise over time. These types of trading zones will happen inevitably —and the United States could miss out on a big opportunity. Not only this, but TPP would allow the United States to impose regulations and rules, from environmental standards to worker’s rights, and this benefits every country in the deal. Not only are bilateral deals less effective, but something like the TPP will emerge and the U.S. will be left in the dust. LEARN MORE

Engagement Resources

  • Fairtrade Foundation — An international advocacy group which works to secure fair prices and workers’ rights for farmers.
  • Fair Wage Network — An NGO which fights for fair minimum wage laws across and within nations in order to protect workers regardless of gender, class, or race.
  • Business Council for Global Development — An organization which helps connect businesses in developing nations to their governments in order to advocate for economic, social, and environmental issues as well as success within the business.

This brief was compiled by Jacob Malinowski. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this brief, please contact



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