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Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso answers a question during an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso answers a question during an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo Japan

"It's not yet clear how real it is, given the different views in the USA administration", Trade Minister David Parker said.

Policymakers in the Asia-Pacific region on Friday responded to the possibility of the US rejoining the trade deal with scepticism. New Zealand's trade minister said his country is not blind to the benefits of free trade with the world's largest economy, but US participation remains theoretical.

Trump faces a growing domestic backlash from corporations, farmers and others over fears that he is igniting a trade war with China, the United States' largest single trading partner. Nevertheless, with the United States embroiled in an intensifying trade dispute with China, he has asked two close advisers to revisit the TPP.

Trump had tweeted that the USA would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to former president Barack Obama. "We already have BILATERAL deals with six of the eleven nations in TPP, and are working to make a deal with the biggest of those nations, Japan, who has hit us hard on trade for years!"

The TPP, which now comprises 11 nations, was created to cut trade barriers in some of the fastest-growing economies of the Asia-Pacific region and to counter China's rising economic and diplomatic clout.

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One other, Leah Sharibu , remains captive because she refused to convert to Islam, her freed classmates have said. Boko Haram insurgents have abducted at least 1,000 children in the north-east since 2013, according to UNICEF.

Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown, said he was "very open to a new TPP" as long as it had strong labor rights protections and currency provisions. Tighter trade links between the US and other Asian nations could give Trump a better hand in the brewing trade fight with China. Malaysia's International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed echoed these remarks, saying that renegotiation would "alter the balance of benefits for parties".

Barack Obama was the first United States President to use Twitter, or any social media site, to connect with the world - particularly the citizens and residents of the great United States of America.

Friday morning, President Trump expanded on the conditions for getting back into TPP.

An early test of the potential for the United States to rejoin could come as soon as next week, when Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister and an ardent champion of the pact, is to meet with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

The 11-member pact includes Mexico and Canada, which are in the process of re-negotiating the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement with the United States. Japan, a close US ally, is a member of the TPP.

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