Trump has talked about rejoining the deal before, but only if the USA gets substantially better terms - which would take even more diplomatic wrangling to secure.
Thursday morning, President Trump revealed that he has directed his administration to look into rejoining the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, indicating an extreme U-turn in his position and rhetoric around the TPP deal itself and global trade overall.
"We welcome the USA coming back to the table, but I don't see any wholesale appetite for any material renegotiation of [the pact]", Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo said.
As he often does, the President started to change gears after hearing complaints from important constituents - in this case, Republican lawmakers who said farmers and other businesses in their states would suffer from his trade approach because they send many of their products overseas.
"The best thing the United States can do to push back against Chinese cheating now is to lead the other 11 Pacific nations that believe in free trade and the rule of law, " he said.
When President Trump ordered the USA withdrawal from TPP trade negotiations in January 2017, the deal was widely seen as catering to American interests, given that US negotiators helped shape the deal since 2008. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would open more overseas markets for American farmers.
The remarks were another conciliatory signal from the administration following tit-for-tat tariffs proposals from the world's two largest economies that rattled markets. Trump also indicated that talks are progressing toward successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. And now it's $500 billion in deficits and a theft of $300 billion in intellectual property. Asian stocks climbed as equities in Japan and Australia advanced.
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Trump withdrew the U.S. from the TPP during his first week in office.
Mr Trump made the commitment while meeting politicians from farming states, who are among those concerned about a trade war, senators say.
The pact, which was conceived as a counterweight to Beijing's rising economic power in the region, had been negotiated under the administration of former US president Barack Obama, but never approved by US Congress.
Negotiating a new pact could take years.
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.
Eleven other countries moved forward with ratifying the trade deal last month.
"It's hard to bring part of the pact and renegotiate it", he said, calling it a "well-balanced pact" that carefully addressed the needs of the current 11 member nations. He had "kept his promise to end the TPP deal negotiated by the Obama administration because it was unfair to American workers and farmers", she said.