As the United States continues to focus on renegotiation of existing free trade agreements, regional trade alliances are gaining momentum. At an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Vietnam this week, a senior official with Japan’s finance ministry said the country remains strongly committed to a potential Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement with the 11 countries still actively seeking to complete the agreement following the United States’ departure.While citing the possibility of negotiating bilateral agreements, he said TPP-11 is Japan’s No. 1 trade priority.
Meanwhile, the Pacific Alliance will meet on Oct. 23 to explore the addition of new alliance members. The Pacific Alliance — currently comprised of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru — is considering Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore as new members. The Pacific Alliance is an agreement that covers trade protocol and includes a visa waiver program and financial integration between member countries. Other than Columbia, these countries are also engaged in the effort to revive TPP-11, raising the prospect of an even larger multilateral Asia-Pacific trade agreement.