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Economy

A new meaning for TPP -- Restrain Trump-era protectionism

Japan, other powers would have to lead if they want lesser pact to live

| Japan
Former U.S. President Barack Obama, center, takes part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership meeting at the APEC summit in Yokohama, Japan, in 2014.

With words and deeds, U.S. President Donald Trump has shaken the liberal economic order. In his inaugural address, he stunned the world by attributing to foreign commerce the "carnage" visited upon American workers and by extolling the virtues of protectionism. Action soon followed: One of his first executive orders was to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. In light of these events, Tokyo's insistence that the TPP without the U.S. is meaningless and that Trump can be persuaded on the merits of the Asia-Pacific trade deal is more than puzzling: It needlessly surrenders leverage to deal with the challenges of the Trump era.

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