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Asia Minute: Asia Pacific Trade Deal Reached Without U.S.


It’s been almost exactly a year since President Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But the other 11 countries involved in the negotiations have kept talking over the past twelve months. And now they have an agreement—without the United States. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

The name has changed, but the concept remains the same.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership has added a couple of adjectives since its days as the “TPP,” but it still cuts tariffs among member countries.

And that’s not all.

Canadian officials say there’s an improved process to take up trade disputes about autos with Japan and with Malaysia.

Australian negotiators say they will benefit from easier access to markets for exports of beef –adding that it is likely those benefits will come at the expense of U.S. producers.

In the broadest context, the deal scraps tariffs on a number of products traded across the region—from manufactured goods to cotton and wool and seafood and wine.

Agreement was almost reached a couple of months ago at the APEC meetings in Vietnam, but Canada backed out over a lack of protection for cultural products including music, movies and television programs.

Negotiators came to terms after another round of talks in Tokyo and hope to sign a deal in Chile in March.

While the original TPP deal was not popular on either side of the U.S. presidential campaign, officials from several countries say it should be possible for the United States to join the amended agreement at a later date.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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