Australia continues to gather support for the Trans Pacific Partnership, even after the U.S. said it was pulling out of the deal. The TPP seeks to create a 12-country trade agreement across the Asia Pacific region.
CGTN’s Greg Navarro gave us this report.
Despite US withdrawal from TPP, Australia continues trade talksAustralia continues to gather support for the Trans Pacific Partnership, even after the U.S. said it was pulling out of the deal. The TPP seeks to create a 12-country trade agreement across the Asia Pacific region. CGTN’s Greg Navarro gave us this report.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull appeared to downplay his disappointment earlier this week of news that the U.S. had withdrawn from Trans Pacific Partnership.
“We respect absolutely the decision of the new administration to withdraw from it – clearly we regret that but that is President Trump’s decision,” said Trumbull.
But Turnbull made it clear that Australia intends to try and get a regional trade deal in place with or without the US’s support. He says they will be consulting with the other countries that had agreed to the TPP, and will seek trade deals that are in Australia’s interest.
Colin Picker, Law professor at University of New South Wales, says he isn’t surprised Australia is leading the effort.
“I think of all the countries it has to be Australia. Australia has the skill level, it is tremendously experienced in these areas,” Picker said. “I use a phrase it bats above its weight in this arena.”
The United States was the most powerful economy in the 12-country, regional deal that sought to increase trade and stability.
Australia’s agriculture industry and some service providers stood to benefit from the TPP in the short term through lower tariffs.
Reports suggest Japan is also withdrawing its support – which experts say would likely finish the TPP.
Throughout it all, Malcolm Turnbull remains hopeful the United States will change its position on the TPP, just as he said it has done in the past with other trade deals.
“Unless Trump is willing to ignore consistently, over the next year or two, the national security establishment and the US business community – I don’t see how he can resist going back to something like a TPP agreement,” said Picker.
For now, Turnbull says he’s considering other possibilities – including a 10 country, Southeast Asian trade deal that would include China.