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Regional trade alliances build momentum

Eleven countries still actively seeking completion of TPP while the Pacific Alliance adds new members.

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.

TAGS: Regulatory
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