There is “no appetite” among the Trans-Pacific Partnership signatories for major renegotiations to accommodate the US, Australia said Sunday after President Donald Trump indicated he was considering rejoining the pact.
Trump said Thursday the US could re-enter the TPP if it could get a “better” deal, a major U-turn after leaving the Pacific trade pact last year and calling it a jobs killer.
But Australia’s Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said he “can’t see any appetite for any kind of wholesale renegotiations of the TPP deal to accommodate the United States”.
“Now don’t get me wrong, that’s not saying we don’t want the Americans back in, we do,” Ciobo told Sky News Australia.
“But what I am saying is I can’t see us unpicking all the stitching that brought this deal together to accommodate the US at this point.”
Eleven Asia-Pacific nations signed a slimmed-down version of the trade agreement, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), in March.
Apart from Australia, the pact also includes Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, representing together 13.5 percent of the global economy.
The 11 states form a market of 500 million people.
The deal was signed just before Trump slapped steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, and also before tit-for-tat warnings between the US and China over imposing levies on each other’s goods.