The first working level meeting of so-called TPP 11, a Trans-Pacific Partnership without the United States, was held on May 2-3 at Toronto, Canada.
After the meeting, the chief Japanese negotiator for the TPP, Keiichi Katakami, told the press that TPP’s eleven member countries will continue to pursue an appropriate direction of their future talks, saying “We eleven countries could agree to move discussions forward so as not to lose the momentum of the TPP.”
The Japanese government aims at making an agreement among the eleven member countries of the TPP so that the existing TPP free trade deal should take effect without overhauling the pact.
Governments of Australia and New Zealand are taking a positive attitude toward execution of the TPP 11 deal.
Some countries including Vietnam, however, do not wish to maintain the existing TPP free trade pact, because they have made concessions in the field of trade rules at the “TPP 12” negotiations expecting an increase in their exports to the U.S.
In these countries, there are some views that seek for an overhaul of the TPP agreement, which might make it difficult for the eleven countries to coordinate their positions at the coming talks.
A ministerial meeting of a U.S.-less TPP is to be held at Vietnam on May 21. The focus of the meeting is how the TPP eleven countries will be able to work out a new direction of their future agreement.