TPP members aim to revive deal after US pullout: Source

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“TPP has not only economic benefits but also strategic significance. We will firmly seek its realisation,” Japan’s minister in charge of TPP, Nobuteru Ishihara, seen in 2012, told reporters Friday, according to state media. (Photo: AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi)

HANOI: Asia-Pacific nations will try to rescue a massive trade deal scuppered by the pullout of the United States, a source involved in discussions told AFP on Friday (May 19), as delegates meet in Hanoi for key talks this weekend.

US President Donald Trump abandoned the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in January calling it a “job killer” and throwing the pact’s future into doubt.

The deal covered 40 per cent of the world economy before the US withdrawal, and with its notable exclusion of China was intended to counter Beijing’s economic prowess in the region.

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

Trade ministers from the 11 remaining TPP countries will meet on Sunday, where they are expected to agree to keep the deal alive.

“The big announcement if it all holds together will be that there will be agreement to move forward as TPP 11,” the source said.

The door would “absolutely” remain open for the United States to return to the agreement in the future, the source added.

TPP members are expected to make an announcement Sunday on the sidelines of a meeting of trade ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) bloc, which will also be attended by newly appointed US trade chief Robert Lighthizer.

Japan has also lobbied for the so-called TPP 11, and the minister in charge of the deal said Friday Tokyo was seeking its implementation.

“TPP has not only economic benefits but also strategic significance. We will firmly seek its realisation,” Japan’s minister in charge of TPP, Nobuteru Ishihara, told reporters Friday, according to state media.

Under the original terms of the TPP the deal could not come into effect unless ratified by six countries accounting for 85 percent of the group’s combined GDP. Without the US, the deal cannot be ratified.

To move ahead without the US, members will have to agree to amend the ratification clause, but reopening talks could risk unearthing what were years of gruelling negotiations.

“The challenge will be if you start adjusting the balance within the agreement others will also need to take things out and then at what point does the agreement lose its relevance for the 11?” the source said.

The aim is to come to a final agreement by November when APEC leaders meet in Hanoi for a summit, which Trump is scheduled to attend.

The Republican leader has vowed to focus on bilateral deals and push for “free and fair” trade with its partners, a message Lighthizer is expected to carry with him at the two-day APEC meeting that kicks off in Hanoi Saturday.

Source: AFP/ec

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This entry was posted in FTA - Hiệp đinh Thương mại Tự do, TPP and tagged by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage dotchuoinon.com on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development (cvdvn.net). I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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