Japan Welcomes US to Rejoin TPP, But Opposes Bilateral FTA
Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso said Japan would be pleased if the US decided to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, but opposed the conclusion of a bilateral free trade agreement. Such disagreements created the basis for confrontation between the world's largest and third largest economy on the eve of a summit between the leaders of the two countries. Taro Aso said "Our preference is for the United States to come back to TPP, but there is a sense that the US side wants a bilateral free trade agreement with Japan, so this point is of the utmost concern."
President of the United States Donald Trump left TPP soon after taking office at the beginning of last year. Following the US withdrawal, the remaining 11 countries renegotiated parts of the TPP, removing some of Washington’s demands. In March, they signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), also known as TPP-11. The members of CPTTP are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
US President Donald Trump said last week he would reconsider joining the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, if it were a “substantially better” deal than the one offered to President Barack Obama.