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Australia wants China to replace U.S. in Trans-Pacific Partnership

Staff Writer |
Australia said it was working to recast the Trans-Pacific Partnership without the United States and opened the door for China to sign up after President Donald Trump ditched the huge trade pact.

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The deal included a dozen Asia-Pacific nations which together account for 40 percent of the global economy, but Trump declared Monday he had “terminated” it in line with election pledges to scrap the “job killer” pact.

Canberra is floating a “TPP 12 minus one,” with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying his government was in “active discussions” with other signatories including Japan, New Zealand and Singapore on how to salvage the agreement.

“It is possible that U.S, policy could change over time on this, as it has done on other trade deals,” Turnbull told reporters in Canberra, adding that U.S. secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson and Republicans supported the TPP.

“There is also the opportunity for the TPP to proceed without the United States,” he added. “Certainly there is the potential for China to join the TPP.”

The agreement, the biggest trade deal in history, was seen as a counter to China’s rising economic influence. It was signed last year but has not gone into effect.

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