HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam is hoping leaders of the remaining 11 member countries of a Pacific Rim trade pact, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, may be able to discuss during next week’s regional summit a revised deal following the U.S.’s withdrawal.
Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said he hoped talks held in Japan this week will have narrowed differences enough to allow trade ministers and leaders to endorse an amended TPP agreement during the Asia Economic Cooperation forum, whose annual regional summit will be held in Danang, Vietnam, next week.
“Vietnam will actively contribute together with other TPP member countries to achieve the most positive results that meet the interests of TPP members,” Son said. He told reporters he hoped there would be ministerial and summit meetings on it next week.
In Tokyo, Japanese officials also said they were hoping for a “framework” agreement on pursuing the TPP by the time of the APEC summit, despite having lost the U.S., the world’s biggest economy, as its anchor.
U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the dozen-member trade agreement just days after taking office earlier this year, saying he preferred country-to-country trade deals, a departure from his predecessor Barack Obama in which TPP was the key to his “pivot” to Asia policies.
The TPP is meant to dismantle tariffs and other trade barriers while protecting labor, environment and intellectual property standards.
Son said the remaining 11 member countries in the TPP are still working toward an agreement with balanced interests to all members and it’s open for the United States and other countries to join in the future.
The TPP includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.