donald trump 2
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a roundtable meeting with labor leaders at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 23, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

US President Donald Trump scrapped the involvement of America in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free deal when he signed an executive order on Monday, withdrawing the country's participation in the deal. TPP participants include Australia, New Zeland, Japan and other eight countries in the Pacific.

Trumps' decision was not a big surprise as he was talking about it during his election campaign. Even his presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, did not agree on the deal. The withdrawal from the deal was Trump's first major move after he sworn in as president.

The TPP was an agreement advocated by the Obama administration that aimed to deepen economic ties, cut taxes and foster trade between US and 11 other countries in the Pacific. However, Trump thought that the deal would be harmful to US workers and it would rob the manufacturing sector. He was pursuing a fair trade as opposed to purely free trade.

Trump had called out that in some cases it was impossible to sell American cars in Japan. He cited that there were times that the Asian country would not even take the product. However, if they would take it, a lot of tax would be charged. He said that he would not call such situation as free trade. He also said that he wanted to bring back the manufacturing industry in the US.

The US president's decision was a major blow to the Australian government as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was hoping that Trump would not fulfil his promise during election regarding TPP. Although the expectation was not met, Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said that he and Turnbull remained committed to pursuing the deal without the US as they saw its benefits to exporters. Ciobo has continued to speak with other countries participating TPP on ways to lock in the benefits from the deal.