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Trump announces US will withdraw from TPP trade deal

The President-Elect doesn't move in to the White House for another 59 days, but he continues to provoke his critics, scorn his rivals and even force his allies to duck from view out of embarrassment.

It's increasingly clear that Donald Trump will do nothing to resolve the conflicts of interest that arise from his property empire and international business links.

And last night he issued an internally-produced video that makes a mockery of the tradition of accountability to the media.

Without having to stand before reporters or answer their awkward questions, Trump outlined his priorities.

He has promised to abandon on the opening day of his presidency the decade-long project to construct a Pacific free trade deal.

Downing Street may be pleased to hear him talk about bilateral trade agreements, but my humble advice is to be careful what you wish for.

This is a President-Elect with a narrow, nativist, America-first, protectionist agenda. This may not be the British-friendly White House we hope for.

If we needed clarity on that, Trump provided it overnight, when he drove a freight train through diplomatic protocol.

In a humiliation for the highly regarded current British Ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, Trump tweeted this:

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The question is what Downing Street will say in response to this absurd intervention in an entirely British diplomatic decision.

Does the British government treat this as some kind of joke or diplomatic prank and simply laugh it off? Or does the Prime Minister step forward and declare that the appointment of our Ambassador is a sovereign UK decision and warn the President-Elect to mind his own business?

Either way, two weeks since the election we know one thing for certain:

Donald Trump is treating his preparation for the job of US President as some kind of beauty pageant and as an opportunity to agitate his political and media opponents.

Those who thought he could pivot and become a serious political figure who would seek to be a unifying leader are likely to be disappointed, yet again.

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