pushes for fresh bilateral trade deal with US
remaining 11 members of the Trans Pacific Partnership aim to reach agreement
on whether to move ahead with the trade pact without the US when they meet on
March 14-15 in Chile.
Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh said on March 7 that trade officials
from the remaining TPP countries plan to hold the two-day meeting in Chile to
discuss the future of the trade agreement now that President Trump has
withdrawn the US from the deal.
outcome of those discussions is not clear, Ambassador Pham told a program
sponsored by the Asia Society’s Policy Institute.
he said the Vietnam government believes it would be a mistake to allow the
TPP to die – regardless of whether it continues as a regional agreement or
becomes a template that is used in future free trade agreements in other
parts of the globe.
the decision is made to forge ahead with the TPP, the next question would be
whether to take on new members, said the Ambassador.
also unveiled that trade representatives from the Republic of Korea are
planning to attend the meeting in Chile although it is not a current TPP
government of the ROK had intended to join the TPP once it came into force
and was ready to accept additional members, ROK Ambassador to the US Ahn
Ho-Young told the gathering. That was the ROK ‘Plan A.’
the ROK is looking at its ‘Plan B’ – joining the TPP if the remaining members
make the decision to move ahead.
endorsed the recommendations of a new Asia Society report that the 11
remaining TPP members continue to implement the accord without the US and
open membership to more countries.
Trump has said he wants to negotiate fresh bilateral trade agreements with
the TPP countries that are not already participating in a free trade
agreement with the US.
the Vietnam government has so far not received any such overtures from the
Trump administration, noted Mr Pham.
the Vietnam government would be highly receptive to any trade proposals from
the US that move in the direction of opening new bilateral trade agreement
negotiations, he added.