MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced Japan's desire to continue talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) despite the US withdrawal from the free trade deal and expressed hope that Tokyo would take up leadership in the trade bloc, the NHK broadcaster reported.
During a meeting with leaders of major business organizations, Abe was cited as saying that economic partnership agreements such as the TPP were regarded by his administration as a key engine of growth. Business leaders echoed Abe, saying that the TPP may become a significant source of economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
The TPP members might reach a final deal on the TPP during November's meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders.
The decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation deal among Pacific Rim nations, aimed at removing trade barriers among its signatories and negotiated under former President Barack Obama, was one of US President Donald Trump's first steps in office. He explained this step as part of his "America First" foreign trade policy, saying that the deal would cost jobs to his country.