The Yomiuri Shimbun Some government officials have started considering the option of having the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement take effect among the 11 remaining member nations, leaving out the United States, whose withdrawal had put effectuation of the treaty out of reach.
The idea being floated is to prioritize effectuation and put pressure on the United States, which has shifted its focus to bilateral negotiations.
Nobuteru Ishihara, the minister in charge of TPP affairs, held talks with Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo on Tuesday in Tokyo, where they discussed the TPP issue in the wake of the withdrawal of the United States.
The two ministers agreed that the remaining 11 countries need to show their willingness to realize high levels of free trade in the Asia-Pacific region, bearing in mind the TPP ministerial meetings to be held in Vietnam in May.
After the U.S. announced its withdrawal from the TPP, Australia and New Zealand, among the participating countries, called for the treaty to take effect with the remaining 11 countries.