TPP is meaningless without US participation: Japan

Tokyo, Jan 24 (IANS) The Japanese government on Tuesday said the Trans-Pacific Partnership was “meaningless” without Washington’s participation after the US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the multilateral trade agreement.

“The TPP is meaningless without the US because it would lose the fundamental balance of benefits,” Japanese government spokesman Koichi Hagiuda told the media.

However, Tokyo insisted that it will try to convince the Trump administration of the advantages of being integrated into a framework such as that proposed by the TPP, which sought to unite Japan, the US and 10 other countries in the Pacific basin – such as Mexico, Peru or Chile – in the world’s largest free trade zone, Efe news reported.

“Trump is aware of the importance of free and fair trade. We want to help him understand the strategic and economic merits of the TPP,” Hagiuda added.

Trump, who pledged in his campaign to pull the US out of the trade alliance, on Monday signed the decree that effectively ends his country’s participation in a trans-Pacific free trade agreement.

For the entry into force of the TPP, approved last year, it must be ratified by countries that represent at least 85 percent of bloc’s gross domestic product.

The US alone accounts for 60 percent of the combined GDP of the 12 signatory states while Japan, for its part, accounts for 20 per cent.

–IANS

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