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Japan Cool to Inviting China into TPP as Abe Repeats Free Trade Mantra

Posted January 26, 2017

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(Linda Sieg & Izumi Nakagawa – Reuters)

Japan is cool to the notion of inviting China to join a pan-Pacific trade pact abandoned by U.S. President Donald Trump, fearing such a step would boost Beijing’s clout and water down what was meant to be the ‘gold standard’ for rules of trade.

Nor are government officials eager to begin two-way trade talks with Washington, despite Trump’s stated preference for bilateral deals as part of his “America First” economic plans, although some said such negotiations could not be ruled out.

For now, that has left Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the unenviable position of pledging yet again to persuade Trump that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is in the interests of both the United States and the global economy. The new president signed an executive order withdrawing from the TPP on Monday. Click here to read more.

Related: After Trump Rejects Pacific Trade Deal, Japan Fears Repeat of 1980s (New York Times)