TPP Moves Forward Without U.S.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is moving forward without the U.S.

The trade ministers of the 11 remaining TPP nations have agreed on key aspects of the trade pact in November and hope to sign a formal agreement in February. Afterwards countries will start domestic ratification efforts. President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal at the start of the year.

President Trump argued many parts of the U.S. economy lost out with the free trade agreement, he prefers one-on-one deals. But U.S. farmers were a clear winner in TPP with tariff reductions and new opened markets.

Now, some in U.S. agriculture are hoping there will be a bilateral trade deal with Japan, one of the largest markets that would have been opened with TPP, but the American Farm Bureau says Japan would be hesitant to do that.

Trade Advisor Dave Salmonsen says, "They thought the U.S. would come back to the TPP, which makes it a lot simpler for the Japanese. And they don't want to be the country that basically faces the deal with the U.S. on their own and have to deal with a lot of issues. They wanted it in the multilateral system."

Japanese officials are also unwilling to be part of talks where they’re under pressure to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, a key demand of President Trump.