BREAKING NEWS: TPP Nations Discussing International Trade Pact Without US
Trade officials from every signatory country of the Trans-Pacific Partnership—other than the United States—have been meeting in Toronto yesterday and today to discuss the future of the international trade accord without the US. The meeting was initiated by the Japanese, according to news reports.
If the talks go forward it could mean that the TPP will come into force even though President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the agreement in the early days of his administration.
With the US talking tough against Canada and Trump having threatened to scrap the North America Free Trade Agreement—before he retreated from that position—some observers see the Toronto meeting as part of Canada’s pivot away from its biggest trading partner and toward an effort to sell more of its exports in Asia.
Canada has also expressed interest in pursuing a bilateral trade deal with Japan, and the country’s international trade minister Francois-Philippe Champagne recently met with his Japanese counterpart. So far, there is nothing official from the Canadians as to whether they prefer a TPP without the US or a deal with Japan, the largest TPP economy now that the US is gone.
Canada is also reported to have started exploratory trade talks with China, which is not in the TPP.
The Toronto talks will likely set the stage for an upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit of trade ministers in Vietnam.