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TPP: Donald Trump signs executive order formally pulling US out of one America's biggest trade deals

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US President Donald Trump shows the Executive Order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after signing it in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017.   (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump shows the Executive Order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after signing it in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017. (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images)

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US President Donald Trump signs an executive order alongside White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, January 23, 2017. AFP/Getty Images

US President Donald Trump signs an executive order alongside White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, January 23, 2017. AFP/Getty Images

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US President Donald Trump signs the first of three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017.  They concerned the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a US Government hiring freeze for all departments but the military, and "Mexico City" which bans federal funding of abortions overseas.  Standing behind the President, from left to right: US Vice President Mike Pence; White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus; Peter Navarro, Director of the National Trade Council; Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President; Steven Miller, Senior Advisor to the President; unknown; and Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist. (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump signs the first of three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017. They concerned the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a US Government hiring freeze for all departments but the military, and "Mexico City" which bans federal funding of abortions overseas. Standing behind the President, from left to right: US Vice President Mike Pence; White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus; Peter Navarro, Director of the National Trade Council; Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President; Steven Miller, Senior Advisor to the President; unknown; and Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist. (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images)

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US President Donald Trump signs the second of three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017.  These concerned the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a US Government hiring freeze for all departments but the military, and "Mexico City" which bans federal funding of abortions overseas.  (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump signs the second of three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017. These concerned the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a US Government hiring freeze for all departments but the military, and "Mexico City" which bans federal funding of abortions overseas. (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images)

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US President Donald Trump shows the Executive Order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after signing it in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017. (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has moved to pull the United States out of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, fulfilling a campaign promise as he began his first full week in office.

As he signed a notice in the Oval Office, Mr Trump said: "Great thing for the American worker that we just did."

The new US president also signed memorandums freezing most federal government hiring - though he noted an exception for the military - and reinstating a ban on providing federal money to international groups which perform abortions or provide information on the option.

The regulation, known as the "Mexico City Policy", has been a political volleyball, instituted by Republican administrations and rescinded by Democratic ones since 1984.

Following a tumultuous first weekend in office - consumed by Mr Trump's criticism of the media's inauguration coverage - the president sought to refocus on the sweeping, yet often vague, promises he made as a candidate.

He campaigned as a fierce opponent of multilateral trade agreements, particularly the 12-nation Pacific Rim deal agreed upon by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

Earlier, Mr Trump spoke with business leaders and warned that he would impose a "substantial border tax" on companies that move their manufacturing out of the United States.

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US President Donald Trump signs the first of three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017.  They concerned the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a US Government hiring freeze for all departments but the military, and "Mexico City" which bans federal funding of abortions overseas.  Standing behind the President, from left to right: US Vice President Mike Pence; White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus; Peter Navarro, Director of the National Trade Council; Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President; Steven Miller, Senior Advisor to the President; unknown; and Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist. (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump signs the first of three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017. They concerned the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a US Government hiring freeze for all departments but the military, and "Mexico City" which bans federal funding of abortions overseas. Standing behind the President, from left to right: US Vice President Mike Pence; White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus; Peter Navarro, Director of the National Trade Council; Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President; Steven Miller, Senior Advisor to the President; unknown; and Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist. (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images)

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US President Donald Trump signs the first of three Executive Orders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Monday, January 23, 2017. They concerned the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a US Government hiring freeze for all departments but the military, and "Mexico City" which bans federal funding of abortions overseas. Standing behind the President, from left to right: US Vice President Mike Pence; White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus; Peter Navarro, Director of the National Trade Council; Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President; Steven Miller, Senior Advisor to the President; unknown; and Steve Bannon, White House Chief Strategist. (Photo by Ron Sachs - Pool/Getty Images)

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He also promised tax advantages to companies which produce products domestically.

"All you have to do is stay," he said during a meeting in the White House's Roosevelt Room.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin were among the executives who attended the meeting.

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20:  Police and demonstrators clash in downtown Washington after a limo was set on fire following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington and the entire world have watched the transfer of the United States presidency from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the 45th president.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Police and demonstrators clash in downtown Washington after a limo was set on fire following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington and the entire world have watched the transfer of the United States presidency from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the 45th president. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20:  Police and demonstrators clash in downtown Washington after a limo was set on fire following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington and the entire world have watched the transfer of the United States presidency from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the 45th president.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Police and demonstrators clash in downtown Washington after a limo was set on fire following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington and the entire world have watched the transfer of the United States presidency from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the 45th president. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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A man is washed with water after being sprayed by police pepper spray during an anti-Trump demonstration on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protesters attempted to block an entrance to the inauguration ceremony. President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th U.S. President later today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A man is washed with water after being sprayed by police pepper spray during an anti-Trump demonstration on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Protesters attempted to block an entrance to the inauguration ceremony. President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th U.S. President later today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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Demonstrators protest against US President-elect Donald Trump before his inauguration on January 20, 2017, in Washington, DC. 







Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest against US President-elect Donald Trump before his inauguration on January 20, 2017, in Washington, DC. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest against US President-elect Donald Trump before his inauguration on January 20, 2017, in Washington, DC. 







Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest against US President-elect Donald Trump before his inauguration on January 20, 2017, in Washington, DC. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Jewel SAMADJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest against US President-elect Donald Trump before his inauguration on January 20, 2017, in Washington, DC. AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest against US President-elect Donald Trump before his inauguration on January 20, 2017, in Washington, DC. AFP/Getty Images

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Flares burn on a picture of U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest in front of the U.S. Consulate in Milan, Italy, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Flares burn on a picture of U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest in front of the U.S. Consulate in Milan, Italy, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

AP

Americans residing in Portugal sing their national anthem as they take part in a vigil at Largo do Carmo in Lisbon on January 20, 2017 in protest against US president elect Donald Trump as his presidential inauguration kicks off in Washington. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONGFRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images

Americans residing in Portugal sing their national anthem as they take part in a vigil at Largo do Carmo in Lisbon on January 20, 2017 in protest against US president elect Donald Trump as his presidential inauguration kicks off in Washington. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONGFRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images

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People protest against the new US President Donald Trump, in Mexico City during his inauguration day on January 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / RONALDO SCHEMIDTRONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

People protest against the new US President Donald Trump, in Mexico City during his inauguration day on January 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / RONALDO SCHEMIDTRONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

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Demonstrators hold placards as they protest outside the US Embassy in London on January 20, 2017, to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. 
Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators hold placards as they protest outside the US Embassy in London on January 20, 2017, to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators hold placards as they protest outside the US Embassy in London on January 20, 2017, to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. 
Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators hold placards as they protest outside the US Embassy in London on January 20, 2017, to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators hold placards as they protest outside the US Embassy in London on January 20, 2017, to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. 
Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators hold placards as they protest outside the US Embassy in London on January 20, 2017, to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASDANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators hold placards in Madrid on January 20, 2017 during a protest against US president elect Donald Trump as his presidential inauguration kicks off in Washington. / AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANOJAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators hold placards in Madrid on January 20, 2017 during a protest against US president elect Donald Trump as his presidential inauguration kicks off in Washington. / AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANOJAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators hold placards in Madrid on January 20, 2017 during a protest against US president elect Donald Trump as his presidential inauguration kicks off in Washington. / AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANOJAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators hold placards in Madrid on January 20, 2017 during a protest against US president elect Donald Trump as his presidential inauguration kicks off in Washington. / AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANOJAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images

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A poster for the campaign 'We the people' by US street artist Shepard Fairey is seen during an anti Donald Trump protest on the day of his inauguration as US President in front of the US embassy building in Budapest downtown on January 20, 2017.    / AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEKATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images

A poster for the campaign 'We the people' by US street artist Shepard Fairey is seen during an anti Donald Trump protest on the day of his inauguration as US President in front of the US embassy building in Budapest downtown on January 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ATTILA KISBENEDEKATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators hold placards in Madrid on January 20, 2017 during a protest against US president elect Donald Trump as his presidential inauguration kicks off in Washington. / AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANOJAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators hold placards in Madrid on January 20, 2017 during a protest against US president elect Donald Trump as his presidential inauguration kicks off in Washington. / AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANOJAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

TOPSHOT - Members of the public chant slogans and display t-shirts reading "resist" during a protest at the beginning of the swearing-in ceremony of Donald Trump as 45th President of the USA in front of the Capitol in Washington on January 20, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Brendan SmialowskiBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

TOPSHOT - Members of the public chant slogans and display t-shirts reading "resist" during a protest at the beginning of the swearing-in ceremony of Donald Trump as 45th President of the USA in front of the Capitol in Washington on January 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan SmialowskiBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Police officers form a line during a protest before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. 


Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / ZACH GIBSONZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images

Police officers form a line during a protest before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / ZACH GIBSONZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images

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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: An activist holds a sign in protest of President Donald Trump across from Trump Tower on January 20, 2017 in New York City. Donald J. Trump was sworn in today as the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 20: An activist holds a sign in protest of President Donald Trump across from Trump Tower on January 20, 2017 in New York City. Donald J. Trump was sworn in today as the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20:  A protester carries an umbrella during a demonstration against U.S. President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Hundreds of people came out in a rain storm to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as he becomes the 45th President of the United States.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20: A protester carries an umbrella during a demonstration against U.S. President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Hundreds of people came out in a rain storm to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as he becomes the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20:  A balloon of U.S. President Donald Trump stands over protesters during a demonstration on January 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Hundreds of people came out in a rain storm to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as he becomes the 45th President of the United States.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20: A balloon of U.S. President Donald Trump stands over protesters during a demonstration on January 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Hundreds of people came out in a rain storm to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as he becomes the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20:  A protester holds a sign during a demonstration against U.S. President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Hundreds of people came out in a rain storm to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as he becomes the 45th President of the United States.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20: A protester holds a sign during a demonstration against U.S. President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Hundreds of people came out in a rain storm to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as he becomes the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20:  A balloon of U.S. President Donald Trump stands over protesters during a demonstration on January 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Hundreds of people came out in a rain storm to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as he becomes the 45th President of the United States.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 20: A balloon of U.S. President Donald Trump stands over protesters during a demonstration on January 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. Hundreds of people came out in a rain storm to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as he becomes the 45th President of the United States. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20:  Protestors gather in central Bristol to protest against US President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Bristol, England. The protest in Bristol is part of a series of events across the world aimed at expressing disproval at today's inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. President.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20: Protestors gather in central Bristol to protest against US President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Bristol, England. The protest in Bristol is part of a series of events across the world aimed at expressing disproval at today's inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. President. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

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BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20:  Protestors gather in central Bristol to protest against US President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Bristol, England. The protest in Bristol is part of a series of events across the world aimed at expressing disproval at today's inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. President.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20: Protestors gather in central Bristol to protest against US President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Bristol, England. The protest in Bristol is part of a series of events across the world aimed at expressing disproval at today's inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. President. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

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A banner unfurled on Tower Bridge in London as part of the Bridges Not Walls protest against US President Donald Trump on the day of his inauguration

A banner unfurled on Tower Bridge in London as part of the Bridges Not Walls protest against US President Donald Trump on the day of his inauguration

Demonstrators protest the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Joshua LOTTJOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO / Joshua LOTTJOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators protest the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world. / AFP PHOTO/AFP/Getty Images

AFP/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: Police and demonstrators clash in downtown Washington after a limo was set on fire following the inauguration of President Donald Trump on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Washington and the entire world have watched the transfer of the United States presidency from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, the 45th president. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The gathering kicked off a busy day for the new president, including an evening reception with politicians from both parties and a sit-down with union leaders.

Mr Trump ran for office pledging to overhaul US trade policy, arguing that massive free-trade agreements have disadvantaged American workers.

Since winning the White House, he has targeted companies which have moved factories overseas, vowing to slap taxes on products they then try to sell in the US.

Mr Trump said: "Some people say that's not free trade, but we don't have free trade now."

The president also reiterated his campaign pledge to lower taxes for companies, as well as the middle class, "anywhere from 15 to 25%".

He also called for cutting 75% of federal regulations - and insisted that doing so would not compromise worker safety.

The developments came after a first weekend in the White House that included lambasting news organisations for correctly reporting on the size of the crowds at his inauguration and mass protests against his presidency on the following day.

Mr Trump also spoke with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who accepted an invitation to visit the White House in early February. The prime minister said he is hoping to forge a "common vision" with the newly inaugurated US president which could include expanded Israeli settlement construction and a tougher policy toward Iran.

Mr Trump also announced he has set up meetings with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto.

Mexico is part of the free trade agreement with the US and Canada.

Mr Trump said he will also discuss immigration and security at the border. He has promised to build a wall along the length of the southern US border, and has insisted that Mexico will pay for it.

Later in the week, he will address congressional Republicans at their retreat in Philadelphia and meet UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

ends


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