Top negotiators from Japan and 10 other countries began talks Tuesday to explore the possibility of putting a Pacific free trade pact into force without the United States.
Japan’s chief negotiator, Keiichi Katakami, met on Monday and Tuesday with nine of his 10 counterparts for the Trans-Pacific Partnership to lay the groundwork for the two-day meeting in Toronto.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the meeting, Katakami said he conveyed to the other negotiators Tokyo’s belief that 11 countries need to unite to make the TPP take effect. The United States has recently withdrawn from the originally 12-nation pact.
The negotiator talks will be followed by a meeting of the countries’ trade ministers later this month. Japan hopes to strike a new deal by mid-November, when a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will be held in Vietnam.
Tokyo had expressed reluctance to have the TPP come into force without Washington amid concern a TPP is unlikely to provide a tailwind for Japanese exporters, such as automakers, without the United States, the biggest market in the grouping.
But with free trade perceived to be under threat with the rise of protectionism since the launch of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, calls have been growing in the government for Tokyo’s leadership to keep up the momentum for free trade.
The TPP was signed in February 2016 by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam — covering around 40 percent of the global economy.
This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.