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'No appetite' for major TPP change

China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-16 07:35

SYDNEY - There is "no appetite" among the Trans-Pacific Partnership signatories for major renegotiations to accommodate the United States, Australia said on Sunday after US President Donald Trump indicated he was considering rejoining the pact.

Trump said on Thursday the US could re-enter the TPP if it could get a "better" deal, a major U-turn after leaving the Pacific trade pact last year and calling it a jobs killer.

But Australia's Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said he "can't see any appetite for any kind of wholesale renegotiations of the TPP deal to accommodate the United States".

"Now don't get me wrong, that's not saying we don't want the Americans back in, we do," Ciobo told Sky News Australia.

"But what I am saying is I can't see us unpicking all the stitching that brought this deal together to accommodate the US at this point."

Eleven Asia-Pacific nations signed a slimmed-down version of the trade agreement, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, in March.

Apart from Australia, the pact also includes Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, representing together 13.5 percent of the global economy.

The 11 states form a market of 500 million people.

The deal was signed just before Trump slapped steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminium.

Japan will propose setting up a new framework to discuss trade issues with the United States in a summit next week, in hopes of persuading it to rejoin the TPP, the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will make the proposal when he meets Trump at Mar-a-Lago, the president's Florida resort, on Tuesday and Wednesday, the paper said.

Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi is likely to lead the Japanese delegation, with his counterpart likely to be US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the paper said, without citing sources.

Afp - Reuters

(China Daily 04/16/2018 page12)

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