The Daily Manila Shimbun


11 nations agree to study options for early TPP effectuation

May 21, 2017

HANOI- Ministers from Japan and 10 other signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, excluding the United States, which has pulled out of the pact, agreed on Sunday to study options with the aim of putting the comprehensive, high-standard accord into effect promptly.
A joint statement released after their meeting in Hanoi the same day said that the ministers also agreed to continue talks toward November when a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum is scheduled to be held.
The ministers "reaffirmed the balanced outcome and the strategic and economic significance of the TPP highlighting its principles and high standards as a way to promote regional economic integration, contribute positively to the economic growth prospects of its member countries, and create new opportunities for workers, families, farmers, businesses and consumers," the statement said.
Confirming the value of realizing the TPP's benefits, the ministers agreed to "launch a process to assess options to bring the comprehensive, high-quality agreement into force expeditiously, including how to facilitate membership for the original signatories," it said.
The ministers instructed senior trade officials from the 11 TPP members to complete the work by the time the countries hold a ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, on Nov. 10-11.
Economic revitalization minister Nobuteru Ishihara represented Japan at the TPP ministerial meeting, the first of its kind since a gathering in Chile in March.
In talks with reporters after the meeting, Ishihara said, "The unity among the 11 countries has been maintained."
The focus at the latest meeting had been to what extent the 11 countries would be able to come close for an early effectuation of the TPP, after the United States withdrew from the pact in January based on a decision by President Donald Trump, who sticks to his "America first" policy.
Aiming to lead the discussions, Japan held bilateral talks with some of the remaining countries in the Vietnamese capital. (Jiji Press)