As reported on the Northern Ag Network this week, Japan is seeking to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal without the United States. President Donald Trump in January removed the U.S. from the deal that was estimated to be worth more than $4 billion to U.S. agriculture. Now, Japan is seeking to amend the deal to 11 nations, cutting out the U.S., and moving forward. The Nikkei Asian Review reports Japan has confirmed that President Trump would not object to the deal moving forward without the U.S., paving the way for a possible final agreement.
Tokyo aims to hold a TPP ministers meeting in Vietnam in late May to consider ways an 11-member pact could be brought into force. Doing so would require those members to settle on a revision to exclude the United States. However, for some countries, that means reopening the deal to renegotiation.
The Nikkei Asian Review writes that, “Many expect Japan to spearhead the effort. According to a Singaporean diplomat, no headway will be made unless this country, now the largest economy affiliated with the pact, takes action. Even some American experts and lawmakers are in favor of Japan taking over from the U.S. to advance free trade in Asia. This comes amid concerns that the U.S. withdrawal from the TPP, a cornerstone of the previous administration’s Asia-heavy foreign policy, could help China gain greater control over the region.”
The review also writes, “As a first step, Tokyo aims to have TPP ministers meeting in Vietnam in late May instruct working-level staff in a joint statement to consider ways an 11-member pact could be brought into force. Doing so would require those members to settle on a revision to exclude the U.S.”
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Picture: DTN Progressive Farmer
Nikkei Asian Review and National Association of Farm Broadcasters