TPP-11 trade pact may come into force early 2019: sources

HAKONE, July 19 ― The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States will likely come into force early next year, informed sources have said.

The move may coincide with the timing of the Japan-EU free trade agreement to be expected to come into force. The deal with Japan is the EU’s largest trade deal ever and will create a trade zone covering nearly a third of global GDP.

Senior trade officials of the TPP-11 gathered in Hakone, a lake resort near Tokyo, to discuss how to operate the trade pact as well as expansion of membership at a two-day meeting that started July 18.

The TPP-11 will enter into force 60 days after six of the 11 countries ratify the deal, a process that involves amending their respective domestic laws.

Japan, Mexico and Singapore have already ratified it. New Zealand, Australia and other countries are also pushing ahead with legislation to bring the pact into forces as early as this year.

Meanwhile, Thailand, the U.K., Indonesia, Taiwan and some other countries are also interested in joining the TPP-11.

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