The Daily Manila Shimbun


Countries still apart over future of TPP

May 4, 2017

TORONTO- Japan and 10 other countries Wednesday failed to reach a consensus on the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement following the withdrawal of the United States. Japan sought to put the TPP into effect without the participation of the United States, but some other countries were cautious about the idea. Chief negotiators from the 11 countries, meeting in Toronto for two days, ended their second-day session about three hours earlier than scheduled due to gaps. They left a decision up to a ministerial meeting set for late this month in Hanoi. "Discussions were constructive though positions vary," Japanese chief negotiator Keiichi Katakami told reporters after the meeting. The 11 countries "agreed to promote talks in order to keep the TPP's momentum alive," he said. In Tuesday's session, Japan called on the TPP to be put into effect by the 11 countries without changing its content. US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the TPP immediately after taking office in January. The Japanese proposal apparently sought to leave open the possibility of the United States returning to the pact in the future. (Jiji Press)