04:30 GMT +318 December 2017
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    A demonstrator holds a fan with No! TPP in a protest against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal at a sit-in demonstration in front of the parliament building in Tokyo

    Australian Government Puzzled by US Pullout From TPP Trade Deal, Mulls 'Plan B'

    © AFP 2017/ TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA
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    The Australian government does not have any plans on how to proceed with implementing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after US withdrawal, Shadow Trade Minister Jason Clare said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Friday, US President Donald Trump's administration said the United States was withdrawing from the TPP free trade deal. The move followed multiple pledges by Trump during his election campaign to scrap the "terrible deal."

    "The government is now saying ‘plan B’ is an alternate agreement with the 11 other countries that were part of the TPP, however they no idea whether this is even worth doing… We have asked the government for economic modeling on the value to Australia of an agreement without the US but they haven't bothered doing any. If ‘plan B’ ever happens it would require independent economic evidence, another parliamentary inquiry and new legislation," Clare told The Guardian newspaper.

    Protesters at the TPP Leesburg rally in Virginia, US.
    © Flickr/ GlobalTradeWatch
    The Labor politician obtained the details after filing two freedom of information requests in November and January.

    Despite the lack of plans, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made multiple statements on his hope to keep the TPP in some form despite Trump's election across the Pacific in November. Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has also been involved in efforts to keep the trade agreement alive, meeting several TPP signatory leaders to draw up plans to take the TPP forward without the United States.

    The parties to the TPP agreement were the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Despite being finalized, the deal remained unratified and was only ratified by Japan hours before Trump's inauguration. The details of the controversial free trade agreement, negotiated in unusual secrecy, were revealed to the public after almost seven years of discussions. Opponents said the pact would undermine standards and regulations on environmental protection, health and safety, as well as workers’ rights.

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    Tags:
    trade deal, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Donald Trump, Australia, United States
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