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Ever since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, there has been a common question: Now what?
It appears many of the other countries involved in TPP are looking at options to keep as much of the agreement intact as possible.
We probably could have predicted this. Last summer during World Pork Expo, National Pork Producers Council’s Nick Giordano, in addressing the United States’ inaction in ratifying TPP, said “The world is not going to stand still and wait for the United States.”
And now it is not going to stand still without the United States.
According to a recent report from the New Straits Times, Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said negotiators from remaining TPP nations were expected to talk about its options in May during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Vietnam.
In addition to Malaysia and Vietnam, this would also include Canada, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Peru, Singapore.
Also, Canadian International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne’s office confirmed with CBC News that Canada would meet with other TPP nations during a meeting in Chile in March to figure out how to proceed without the United States.
Before Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement, Malaysia and Japan ratified TPP.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbill had earlier stated he thought there could be a future for TPP without the United States, and hinted at the fact that China may be interested in joining the agreement.
However, several weeks later, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, with Yi indicating China would not be interested, reported ZDNet.
Regardless of whether China becomes involved, the other countries still have a vested interest in a reincarnated TPP, which even with modifications, should also have a meaningful impact on U.S. agricultural trade. The continued talks will be well worthy of the U.S. agriculture industry’s attention.