Australia is hopeful that the US will join TPP, finance minister says

  • Eleven countries agreed Tuesday to approve a revised version of the TPP, a trade agreement aimed at fostering business in the Asia Pacific.
  • The U.S. decided to pull out of the agreement arguing it would damage its economy.

Australia believes that the United States will end up joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), its finance minister told CNBC on Wednesday.

Mathias Cormann said this will happen when the U.S. recognizes the importance of the Asia-Pacific region for business.

"We hope that over time the United States will want to be part of this. We'd like to think that over time the U.S. will want to have a piece of the action," Cormann said at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Eleven countries, including Australia and Canada, agreed Tuesday to approve a revised version of the TPP, a trade agreement aimed at fostering business in the region.

However, the U.S. officially withdrew from the agreement in January 2017. Washington has had a change of approach to global trade since President Donald Trump took office a year ago; he said the TPP would damage the U.S. economy.

"Asia-Pacific is the part of the world where most of the global growth will be generated for years to come and the U.S. as a great trading economy surely will want to have the same advantageous access to those markets as we will have," Cormann said.

Speaking Tuesday on a WEF panel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised the newly-revised version of the TPP agreement — known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) — and reiterated his commitment to free trade.

"If we are going to push back against the anti-trade tendency in globalization that will leave us all worse off, we have to put the concerns and the well-being of our ordinary citizens at the center of what we are negotiating, and that is what 11 of us have been able to do with the CPTPP," Trudeau said.