China touts its own trade pact as US-backed TPP withers

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Ms. Freeland said the TPP can not proceed in its current form without the United States.

Ending the TPP was a key election pledge of Trump's and was also the policy of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Unlike the TPP, China's plan doesn't now include any countries in the Americas, but Reuters reported other nations like Peru and Chile were being considered.

Both the 12-nation TPP - signed in February but not yet in force - and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement featured heavily in the White House race.

For five years, Beijing has reportedly been pushing for a trade deal in the region that excludes Washington.

Trump's message was issued after U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other APEC leaders met in Peru, where they issued a call to fight the backlash against global trade.

Regarding economic policy and trade, Trump vows to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) referring to the trade deal as "a potential disaster for [America]".

Announcing the plan to pull out of the TPP, he said that the USA would "negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores". Beijing could also test the strength of the Japan-U.S. alliance by ramping up provocations in the East and South China seas.

"TPP is meaningless without the U.S.", said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who overcame opposition to the trade deal from farmers and the medical lobby to push ratification through the lower house of parliament.

The TPP was U.S. President Barack Obama's signature trade deal, created to form a bloc of economies that could compete with China. Like the U.S., Canada has not yet ratified the agreement.

Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said the TPP does require United States ratification for it to come into effect, but there is a two year period for that to happen. The economies of the countries signing the accord added up to about 40 percent of the world's gross domestic product.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said the JCCT has "focused on areas ripe for collaboration" and promoted more trade and commerce between the two countries over the past three years.

Both the 12-nation TPP and the North American Free Trade Agreement - accused of harming the U.S. economy and jobs - featured heavily in the brutal White House race.

"We can modify that clause and also take advantage to modify other clauses that might be uncomfortable for us", said Ferreyros.

However, the Conservatives aren't convinced the deal is dead.

China will push for RCEP negotiations to be sped up to conclude soon, with full respect for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)'s core status in the deal, Shen said.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, previously warned: "If, at the end, waiting at the altar, the bride doesn't arrive, I think there are people who are going to be very hurt, not just emotionally but really damaged for a long time to come". "So why we would throw up our hands and walk away is beyond the pale".

During his campaign, Trump was openly critical of a number of recent United States trade deals.

A bilateral FTA with the USA may seem like the next-best option to the TPP, but Tokyo is hesitant to go this route.