TPP Trade Partners to Move Ahead With Pact Without the U.S.

TPP Trade Partners to Move Ahead With Pact Without the U.S.

TPP Trade Partners to Move Ahead With Pact Without the U.S.

Although US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) appeared to deal a death blow to the mega-regional trade pact, the 11 remaining nations have been mulling over every possible way to resurrect it.

Meanwhile, Japan has come as a leader for countries, which want to go forward with a much more all-inclusive TPP agreement, which was ditched by U.S. President and does not include China.

Ministers from the 11 members are slated to hold a one-day meeting, co-chaired by Vietnam and New Zealand, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering.

Several remaining members have championed its revival, namely New Zealand and Japan, the only two countries that have formally ratified the deal.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told reporters after meeting with Ishihara that most of the 11 ministers would "be able to get a clear view" of how to proceed with the TPP without the United States. "To bear in mind an environment where a signatory country can return", said one source close to the discussions who was not authorized to speak to the media.

So far, only Japan and New Zealand have ratified the pact that is due to take effect next year.

Vietnam would want to renegotiate requirements in areas like labor reform and intellectual property rights if it were to continue without USA participation, said one Vietnamese official who declined to be identified.

The remaining members of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement are looking to push forward with their trade agreement, Reuters reported citing sources close to the discussions, even after the departure of the US from the partnership following the election of President Trump.

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In Hanoi, Lighthizer is also due to hold two-way meetings to start making official contact with key trade officials.

"First priority is RCEP for us", he said.

Main countries are China, Japan and South Korea, with which Trump wants to renegotiate a free trade deal.

APEC members' eyes will be also on the other Asia-Pacific trade initiative - the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - a proposed free trade agreement between the16 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Canada and Mexico will be at the Asia-Pacific meetings and are also in the North American trade area.

Australia and New Zealand have aligned with Japan, but Vietnam and Malaysia have suggested they disagree with Tokyo's proposal as they had hoped to take advantage of increased trade with the United States in order to expand their economies.

Given the uncertainty over TPP, the China-backed deal was now the priority for Malaysia, Mustapa said.

Twelve countries that border the Pacific Ocean signed up to the TPP in 2016, representing roughly 40 per cent of the world's economic output.

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