US President Donald Trump is planning to renegotiate or even scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the most ambitious trade pact in decades, in his first 100 days in office, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

The move could be seen as an effort to bolster Trump’s domestic support as he seeks to move the US towards a more mercantilist agenda and counter the perceived damage done by the trade deal.

Trump, who is under pressure to make a trade deal a top priority in his second term, has said that he wants to renegotiated or scrap the TPP before leaving office in January.

But the official, who was not authorized to discuss internal policy deliberations, said Trump’s approach would be “very, very broad”.

“He will have to be very, very careful to not go overboard, because we are going to have a lot of decisions to make,” the official said.

“He has to be mindful that this is going to be a big piece of legislation.”‘

A political loser’The TPP was negotiated by 12 nations and signed into law by Barack Obama in 2015.

It has been the target of criticism by Trump and other Republicans who say it has been too friendly to China, which is expected to win the deal.

But the White House has said it has secured a trade agreement with 11 other nations, including Vietnam and Mexico, that would be in the interests of US workers.

China has consistently pushed back against Trump’s criticism and said that it was not the US’s policy to pursue free trade agreements.

“We are in the middle of an election and we have a very different politics than he does,” China’s ambassador to the United States, Liu Yandong, told reporters on Monday.

“Our bilateral relations are not at the same level.

There are differences in our trade policies.”

Trump, a former real estate developer who made his fortune as a real estate mogul and real estate investor, has been under pressure from trade groups and the Democratic-led Senate to scrap the trade pact.

The Trump administration has not said when it would finalise the proposed changes, but a senior Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters, said the administration would seek to push for the TPP to be renegotiated “soon” or “as soon as possible”.

The official also said the Trump administration was considering revising the text of the TPP as well as the US trade deficit with China.

“I don’t want to say too much, but we are talking about renegotiating or scrapping the agreement,” the senior administration aide said.

“We have a big idea.”

The trade adviser said the proposal to scrap or renegotiate the TPP was “in a sense an election loser” as it could result in higher costs to businesses that rely on trade with the US.

“That could have a huge impact on the competitiveness of US exports,” the adviser said.