Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary conceded the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal faces an uphill battle without the United States, even as Tokyo pressed other member countries to ratify the pact to keep the pressure on Washington, suggesting that Tokyo would work hard to convince President Donald Trump to rethink his stated opposition.
In an interview with CNBC, Yoshihide Suga, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's top adviser said the Japanese government would properly assert itself in trade talks, to prevent a move towards protectionism.
"A TPP without the U.S. would be incredibly difficult, but we do have a window until 2018, when the treaty needs to be ratified," Suga said. "We believe we still have an opportunity to convince the U.S. about the importance of free trade."
Trump has already vowed to withdraw from the TPP in the first 100 day of his administration, calling the pact "a potential disaster" for the U.S. In his inauguration speech, Trump reiterated his call for an "America first" policy, saying every decision on trade as well as taxes and foreign policy, would be made to benefit American workers and American families and has already moved to start potential renegotiation over the existing North American free Trade Agreement 104233449 (NAFTA).