Donald Trump has issued an executive order to formally withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

As stated in a Presidential Memorandum:

I hereby direct you to withdraw the United States as a signatory to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to permanently withdraw the United States from TPP negotiations

However, can future US administrations still decide to rejoin this trade deal and get it ratified by Congress even though the memorandum states that the US is permanently withdrawn?

If so, does it require the approval of other member countries in the trade deal or can the President simply rejoin it by (maybe) issuing another Executive Order?

2 Answers 2


Conditionally yes,

future US administrations can still rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership1, only if the parties to the trade deal allow for it.

Despite the fact that the presidential memorandum directed the US Trade Representative to "permanently withdraw the United States from TPP negotiations", a future administration can issue a new executive order/memorandum to overwrite the directive and join negotiations to join the trade bloc.

However, in the current situation, that is unlikely as the remaining members in the CPTPP expressed unwillingness to reopen negotiations to accommodate the US.

While no concrete actions were taken, it's worth noting that President Trump has expressed willingness to reconsider rejoining the CPTPP if it were a “substantially better” deal.

1 Now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

  • Nice answer but I would describe it as a conditional yes. As you say, the other parties have to give their assent too. Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 20:48

An administration can sign the us in to a treaty, or withdraw from one.

For it to be effective Congress has to ratify it.

So "no" is the right technical answer to your question.

If you are really asking if the U.S. can join TPP or some similar treaties in the future, the answer is "yes".

  • Thanks for your answer, I've updated my question slightly. I meant to ask if the Executive Order can be overturned by future administrations or maybe the current administration changes their mind, then rejoin specifically the TPP and get it ratified by Congress.
    – Panda
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 14:26

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