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Australia wants TPP despite US exit: trade minister

Canberra sees benefits for smaller businesses, easier trade and investment

Ministers from TPP signatories gather in Chile in March for their first meeting since Washington's announcement of its withdrawal from the trade pact.

TOKYO -- Australia is eager to put the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact into effect even without the U.S., Steven Ciobo, the country's minister for trade, tourism and investment, told The Nikkei here on Wednesday.

In light of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the TPP, the deal's remaining signatories are exploring various options for the future. Australia strongly supports the idea of cutting the U.S. out and moving forward with an 11-member version of the agreement, which has been dubbed TPP 11.

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