Without US, 11 Nations in TPP Inch Closer to a Deal

The 11 nations remaining in the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the United States withdrew have inched closer to a comprehensive deal, offering hope that major countries can maintain free trade in the face of U.S. protectionism, a negotiator said on Friday.

The original 12-member TPP, which aimed to cut trade barriers in some of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, was thrown into limbo in January when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement to prioritize protecting U.S. jobs.

Negotiators met for two days in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, to discuss what parts of the original deal they wished to shelve, in a bid to salvage an ambitious vision for a free-trade bloc that originally included the United States.

The 11 TPP members agreed to meet again in Japan next month and aim to reach a broad agreement in November at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting set to be held in Vietnam’s central

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