One of the first actions U.S. President Donald Trump took after being sworn in on Jan. 20 last year was to "permanently withdraw" the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, then a 12-nation free trade agreement that he blasted as costing American jobs.

During the 2016 campaign and the first year of his presidency, Trump instead advocated bilateral trade deals — rather than multilateral ones such as the TPP — as a way of pursuing what he said would be fair and reciprocal trade under his "America First" mantra.

But a major shift came last Thursday when Trump said in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that he would consider rejoining the TPP if the U.S. could strike a "substantially better" agreement.