The Latest: Talks on Pacific trade pact still ongoing
DANANG, Vietnam (AP) — The Latest on the summit of 21 Pacific Rim economies in Vietnam (all times local):
The Pacific Rim trade pact abandoned by President Donald Trump remains in limbo, judging from differing reports on the status of Cabinet level talks on pushing ahead without the United States.
Officials from Japan suggested a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership deal was reached late Thursday. Leaders from New Zealand and Australia said the discussions were continuing.
The Australian trade minister, Steve Ciobo, told reporters there was “still more work to do, but we’re inching closer.”
The 11 remaining members of the TPP are trying to find a way forward without the U.S., the biggest economy and before Trump took office one of its most assertive supporters.
New Zealand’s minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, said talks on a Pacific Rim trade pact are more likely to progress if few changes are made to the original accord.
Parker said the 11 countries still participating in the initiative after the U.S. withdrew earlier this year are showing good will and a desire to make progress. The ministerial-level talks are being held on the sidelines of the APEC annual summit.
The original TPP deal was worked out after years of painful negotiations. U.S. President Donald Trump’s rejection of the pact was a harsh blow.
Parker sounded upbeat but said it was still uncertain if talks by TPP leaders themselves would be held as planned on Friday.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to do his utmost to get fellow leaders of countries participating in a Pacific Rim trade pact to stick with the plan despite the withdrawal of the U.S. from the deal.
Abe said Thursday that Japan is leading the effort among the remaining 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to revise the initiative during talks on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.
He said Japan, as co-chair of TPP meetings taking place alongside the APEC summit, hopes to achieve a “basic agreement.” Abe made the remarks before leaving for the summit in Danang.
President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the TPP earlier this year. He is seeking to renegotiate several major trade agreements to, he says, put “America First.”
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says the United States is the first victim of “globalization” and that’s why President Donald Trump is pushing back with an “America First” stance.
Duterte made the comments at a business conference on the sidelines of a regional summit. He said the flight of American manufacturing to China after it opened to foreign trade and investment hurt U.S. workers.
Duterte described how reforms launched by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in the 1970s led the country to open its once-closed borders to foreign trade and investment. U.S. businesses were eager to take advantage of less expensive labor and lower taxes.
He said, “America was the first victim of globalization and that is why Trump is trying to lure them back and said ‘America First.’”
Talks aimed at salvaging a Pacific Rim trade pact rejected by President Donald Trump have resumed on the sidelines of a regional summit in Vietnam.
Trade and foreign ministers of 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership met Thursday seeking to agree in principle on how to proceed without U.S. involvement after Trump pulled out earlier this year.
The meeting is being held on the sidelines of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, whose annual summit in Danang, Vietnam, begins on Friday.