May 5, 2017 2:20 am JST

TPP members agree to go on minus US, but differ on terms

Countries may seek better deal now that American market opening is gone

RYOHEI YASOSHIMA, Nikkei staff writer

Japan's chief TPP negotiator, Keiichi Katakami, pushed to preserve the pact's current terms in Toronto Tuesday and Wednesday.

TORONTO -- The 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership members agreed over two-day talks here to resuscitate the trade pact without the U.S., but differences remained over the shape the new deal would take.

The gathered representatives agreed to "keep moving discussions forward so as not to lose momentum," said Keiichi Katakami, Japan's top negotiator for the TPP.

The partner nations intend to hammer out their next steps, including a concrete proposal to enact the 11-party framework, at ministerial talks in Vietnam later this month. Canada, which hosted this week's meeting, will arrange a joint statement to be delivered at those talks.

Representatives "did not differ" on the objective of realizing the high-level free trade rules laid out for the TPP in October 2015, said Katakami. Participants such as Vietnam and Malaysia, from whom some feared resistance, were on board with executing an 11-way pact.

But with the U.S. gone from the table, the language needs to be reworked to make the treaty a 11-member pact. Many members said it would be difficult to justify the pact to their countries without the benefit of opening the U.S. market. Tokyo, the senior partner in the TPP since the U.S. withdrew in January, hoped to preserve the pact's terms, but some countries showed a desire for change.

Challenges in enacting the pact "are piling up, and the reality is that it will be tough to solve them," said a Japanese government affiliate.

Japan hopes to reach a deal by November's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. But depending on the domestic situations of the other 10 members, negotiations may become bogged down.

Get Insights on Asia In Your Inbox

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

Get your first month for $0.99

Redeemable only through the Subscribe button below

Once subscribed, you can…

  • Read all stories with unlimited access (5 articles per month without subscription)
  • Use our smartphone and tablet apps

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

3 months for $9
SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Take advantage of this limited offer.
Subscribe now to get unlimited access to all articles.

To read the full story, Update your account

Resubscribe now to continue reading.
BEST OFFER:
Only US$ 9.99 per month for a full-year subscription

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

Once subscribed, you can…

  • Read all stories with unlimited access (5 articles per month without subscription)
  • Use our smartphone and tablet apps

To read the full story, Subscribe or Log in

3 months for $9
SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Take advantage of this limited offer.
Subscribe now to get unlimited access to all articles.

To read the full story, Update your account

We could not renew your subscription.
You need to update your payment information.