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Top negotiators discuss future of TPP without U.S.

Staff Writer |
Top negotiators from the 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) members kicked off a meeting in Japan on Wednesday to discuss the future of the trade pact after the withdrawal of the United States.

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The meeting, to run for at least two days in the hot-spring town of Hakone near Tokyo, followed a meeting of the trade ministers of the 11 countries in May during which they agreed to complete preparatory work by November to put the deal into force.

The leaders of the 11 countries are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Vietnam in November.

Under current rules, to make the TPP pact come into effect, at least six original signatories have to successfully ratify the agreement and those six signatories, between them, must represent 85 percent of the total GDP of the 12 original signatories.

As the United States, which represents nearly 62 percent of the total GDP, has drawn out of the pact, it becomes impossible for the pact to come into effect under current rules.

Of the remaining 11 members, some countries want to only change the requirements to bring the TPP into effect without revising other parts of the pact, while some others may call for a new round of negotiations.

The TPP deal originally involved Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. It was formally signed by ministers from these 12 countries in February last year after more than five years' negotiation.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced in January the withdrawal of the United States from the TPP, saying it would hurt the interests of the country.


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